A friend lent me this book in 1993. I didn't sleep for days as I *had* to finish it, absolutely mesmerised by the characters. Even now I have mental pictures of all the characters and I've never forgotten them. I gave the book back and lost touch with the friend... I found this book on amazon.fr just before christmas (I'd been looking for it for 9 years) and I know it is a treasure to savour and so I've resisted reading it until now. I go on holiday on saturday and I already know I'm going to have the best read of my life.