Hazzard has a unique prose style, often beautiful and lyrical, but it stands like a wall between her readers and her characters. There were sentences -- not necessarily long or complicated ones, either -- which I read half a dozen times without getting any sense from them. And am I the only person who didn't understand the ending at all?
The two sisters at the centre of the story are Australian, or so we are told, because I got no sense of them as outsiders in post-war Britain. Every time their Australian-ness was mentioned, it brought me up short because I'd forgotten all about it. Hazzard seems to have led a nomadic life, living in many continents, and maybe she has lost all notion of what makes individual nations unique, which might explain why British characters use so many American idioms -- surely not common in the 1950s.
When I got to the baffling ending, I realised that, at some point, I was going to have to read it again. I'm afraid my heart sank rather at the prospect. It will not be soon.