Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson is a very mainstream, literary novel. I say this in the sense that it is written with just enough sophistication to transfer well to be big screen (which it did). Nothing ever unexpected happens in this novel, either on the level of plot, character development, or the exploration of text.
That said, the novel has its virtues. Guterson has an appealing knowledge of the fauna and flora of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the type of people who inhabit his world. This gives the novel a firm sense of place, and vibrancy and flavor it would otherwise lack.