This book lured me in slowly, weaving its spider webs around me until I realized I was completely caught up. There's this lovely balance of delicacy and subtlety and harshness and--for all of its ghostly elegance--a certain humanity in Oliver's prose, which meant that even the least likable characters felt closely studied and authentic. The true mastery of her writing, though, is how the story's deeper implications slyly creep up on you and then consume you. I love that through the many narrative threads, there's also this layer of the book-within-the-book woven through--The Raven Heliotrope--insisting on its own place and power within the characters', and reader's, minds. I wouldn't call this book "tragic" or even "sad," and yet it does painstakingly examine loneliness of many different kinds, and had me in tears throughout the second half. Highly recommended!