This took some getting in to. An omniscient narrator several steps back from the action, withholding judgement or emotional involvement, coolly observing a large cast of characters navigating their often mundane, sometimes funny and occasionally tragic lives. The book builds a portrait of a community in fragments, frustratingly slowly at first but gathering power until it becomes a hypnotic accretion of detail. Nice to find a novel that doesn’t make it easy for you, doesn’t seem needy, doesn’t seem to care whether you like it or not. It just gets on with its work, like the weather.