I agree with the comparisons made of this book to Ondaatje - it certainly has that languid pace and lyrical feel I've experienced in his work. The story is intriguing enough to keep the momentum of the narrative going, so that the beautiful writing and gorgeous turns of phrase do not dominate, but rather support and enhance the storytelling. I loved the relationship between the two central characters, and found their chubby nurse ally charming and true. For me, the most interesting thing of all was the portrayal of wartime Romania - a country I know little about. Incidentally, if you're reading this as part of the Orange shortlist, it might be good to read this before you turn to Foreign Bodies, which features a character who is a post-war refugee from Romania.
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