i had mixed expectations for this - it was so highly recommended and reviewed that i both thought i'd love it and not love it (in the vein of the fountainhead, assuming that if everyone loves it, it must be much worse than mediocre) and then it won the pulitzer, which doesn't bode well for my liking a book. but i loved it. it is so well written.it makes me really wish i'd enjoyed mrs. dalloway when i read it. which by the way, i think is essential to reading and fully appreciating this book. i'm sure it stands alone just fine, but to do it justice, you must have first read mrs. dalloway, and probably should remember more of it than i do.this is truly worthy of all of the praise it garnered.