I tried very, very hard to not ‘DNF’ this book but I eventually had to love myself and put it down. There was nothing specifically wrong with the novel; the premise was promising, the writing was detailed and at times quite lovely. However, the characters did not capture me or my sympathies, and I did not really see where this book was going, even once I got past the halfway mark. And not in some interesting “Ooo what’s it gonna be?!” kinda way – more like “Can literally anything happen right now that makes me stay here” kinda way.
I do think Groff has a talent for writing about complex relationships and the various levels of intimacies within them. Also, it’s hard to write a book taking place hundreds of years ago in England, taking on the perspectives of women who were cast off from society in different ways. I have nothing but respect for the attempt! I just couldn’t get down with the result. I will also note some scenes I did read were hot – the ‘lesbian in a church setting’ theme is really popular right now. If you read it, please let me know how it ends as I will be putting this away in my bookshelf now and not attempting any further to continue.