there is a lot to this book, and i'm sure a ton more that i missed. the story itself kept me interested enough, and i think the author handled the writing well. (she mimicked the style of melville in moby dick, not a style i enjoy reading. i don't think this is why the book took me so long to get through.) however, i think a major con of this book is how much the author tried to tackle. she included so many issues and ideas that only a couple could be addressed with the concern she wanted to give them (gender bending/roles/stereotyping, racism/slavery, religion and faith or lack thereof) and others she included but was unable to expand upon in a satisfying way (homosexuality, the institution of marriage, etc.)she took the passage in moby dick that comes toward the end and gives ahab a bit of humanity more at its word than i was comfortable with, making ahab a much different person than my reading of moby dick left me with. this is of course her right and privilege. like much in the book, though, it just felt false. the main character was over the top in her perfection, in every avenue of life and thought, and it didn't ring true with me. i also felt like many of the connections she made between this book and moby dick felt forced and contrived, and in a 668 page book, i feel she had enough room to make those allusions more natural.i think that was my overall problem with this book - it didn't read naturally to me, even as i was engaged in the storytelling and a few of the characters.