I sped-read through this book this weekend because I could not put it down. The last book I couldn't put down was Havemercy, which had a completely different kind of appeal. This is a literary mystery, and it was so fantastic that I am not sure I want to read the sequel because I don't want the glow to be ruined. The writing was wonderful, confident, simple, real, and beautiful. The writing was better than the story (stories because there are multiple interwoven plot lines) - but not detrimentally, because the story was really good. I figured out most of the 'what' of the plot points early on, and each subtle hint was a glowing nod from the author to keep going - but we were probably supposed to, and there was enough mystery around the 'whys' of this story that solving the mystery almost didn't matter. This was a story about people, and it was the perfect combination of hopeful and sad all at once.
One small gripe: just once, just once, can I see an aging frumpy middle aged woman who's not obsessed with how lonely/aging/frumpy/unsexed/lonely she is. :( Kate Atkinson, I love you, but I think you made the wrong choice here. And Brodie, I love you, but I think you made the wrong choice there too.
On to the next book on my list:
I'm told that it's okay if I hate the memoirist at the beginning because by the end she becomes this epically balanced spiritual being who's touched the profound truths of life or something.
My fear is that I might wind up liking her less at the end of the book then I did at the beginning.