In one word--magnificent. But you will need more than one word. So--it is beyond comprehension that this is a first book. The elements of story, character, setting are so tightly bound, so perfectly intertwined, and so absolutely in-tune with one another. It is as if one had taken the fine-tuned sensibility of a Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer and wedded it to the intricate series of incident and entanglement (but NOT coincidence) that makes up a Dickens plot.Steven Riddle's review at A Momentary Taste of Being is practically a work of art in itself. I already had requested it from the library before he began posting excerpts. This culminating summary makes my mouth water even more. No wonder I am #304 out of #350 requests at the library. I'd like to quote the entire review, but won't. I will let you enjoy it all at his blog. Here's just a touch more to lure you over there.
This is NOT a romance, even though it is a classic love story. It is a story centered around love and learning to love and understanding what love is and what love means, and by that understanding coming to forgive oneself one's shortcomings and to forgive the shortcomings so obvious in others. It would not be an exaggeration to say that properly read, this novel can be life-changing in the best possible way.