In what one comes to recognize amidst the other perspectives treated within as the book's own voice, it addresses you, the reader, and invites you to come along on a journey through all levels of 1870s society. Take its hand and follow it where it goes, and you will be glad you did. I was amazed by this book. Leaving aside the power of the story and the characters for just a moment, the writing was masterful. Clever, cutting phrases deftly revealing truths physical and otherwise, a flawless narrative architecture, it was evocative, provocative, and engrossing. I was impressed with the adroit use of phrase and word repetition. It could have been heavy-handed and annoying, but instead it had the perfect light touch, using a word to describe something that was different on the surface from what was being described the last time the word was used, but without being obvious, that word would link an image to another image so that I was left with the feeling that every part of the book reflected every other part. Once again, I've seen clumsier attempts at this sort of thing, and they grate. This felt so natural that sometimes I wondered if I was imagining it. I see in many other reviews here and elsewhere that a lot of people had a big problem with the way the book ended. I thought the ending was perfect. It may be a bit of a case of forewarned is forearmed, in that I knew that I wasn't going to learn everything that happened to everyone until the day they died. I was prepared for the story to end somewhat abruptly, but I didn't actually feel that it did. Yes, the author chose not to tie everything up in a neat little bow, but to do so would have been a disservice to the complexity of the characters and the story. I was quite happy with the place the story ended. I am quite pleased to imagine on my own what happened to everyone later and I think the book gave me enough material to do so, and that that is for the best. I will be reading this book again someday, I am sure, and hope that when I seek out Faber's other work, as I undoubtably will, that it approaches the brilliance of The Crimson Petal and the White.