i did find this book compelling, but i really can't attribute that to the characters or the writing. the writing was definitely average or slightly better, but if this story was about heterosexual people, i'm quite sure i wouldn't like it. i read very few books with alternative sexual orientation/gender characters, that i was drawn in for that reason alone. but if i'm being honest about the quality of it, it can't get more than 2 stars. i did like hearing about being lesbian in victorian london as i knew nothing about that before.