This is 98% character driven with some plot threads to hold things together. I loved the first 60%, the story told from Lotto's POV. It was a bit fantastical but it made for good reading. A long marriage can be a boring thing, but the author kept me going and held my interest. Then the Mathilde side of the story and some of the magic was gone. In some ways, her side was much more interesting, mostly because it filled in many holes. I just didn't get her, was she a victim, psycho, grieving widow, or vengeful menace? Still, it held my interest and I ended up thinking about it more than I expected, a sign of a good book. If you like your reading filled with literary and mythological references, this will be juicy. Overall I'm a bit confused but also a bit impressed.