The Covenant is remarkably similar to Hawaii and Centennial. I went to sleep last night thinking of all the ways the three books are similar:
They are about a wild place being settled: Hawaii, Colorado, South African
First by aborigines: the San, the Khoikhoi, the Zulu, the Xhosa, the Arapaho, the Hawaiians
Then by white people who abuse the aborigines: The Zendts, The Hales, The Whipples, the van Doorns.
Then later someone else comes along. Often the English. those English ranchers, those English missionaries. In Hawaii, there aren't really any English. It's the Chinese in Hawaii.
Then another group comes along: in Hawaii it's the Japanese, in Centennial it's the Mexicans - I don't if this actually applies to South Africa - perhaps it will in "book" 2 and I've just forgotten.
There is always some crazy loner who marries a native -- McKeeg (sp?), Missionary Saltwood, Rafer Hoxworth.
There's always some old woman who is profound - Charlotte the English lady (played by Lynn Redgrave in the miniseries), some old Englishwoman in Covenant, some old Whipple in Hawaii.
There's always some modern scene - for the time - because a historical epic has to end somewhere.
I was trying to think if Michener's other books were plotted similarly, and I don't think they are.
Poland and The Source are the other two I know the very best, and I don't think either of them have these exact plotting elements. The three above are probably all plotted similarly because they are all about new frontiers being settled by various peoples, and The Source and Poland weren't written in that same way.
It would be interesting to go back and re-read Alaska, Texas, Caribbean, and Chesapeake. All four of these books are frontier books as well. But they are all my least favorite Michener books, so I don't think I will take this on. Plus, one Michener re-read every year to year and a half is probably enough.
I really, really fall into these books. Because they are so long, so big, so rich, and based on so much actual history, I always come to the end feeling very attached to all the characters - they all seem so real to me.