So, first I want to say that Catriona Lally has an amazing way with words, setting the scene, and creating a character. After a few pages, Vivian felt like a real person. Lally had me right there with her, taking the walking tour of Dublin, yearning for a passageway to the land of faerie, and relishing the feel of all those lovely palindromes. She made us root, wholeheartedly, for VIV. But this book gradually stopped holding my interest. Variations of the same thing happen each day. There are hints at the sadness (and, perhaps, brutality) of Vivian’s upbringing, but nothing else happens. The tale does not progress. This would have made an excellent short story with skillful editing.