The characters enjoyable, the story good, but... there is so much static in this book. Which might be great for English lit grads, who can pick up on these nuances or enjoy the critiques and arguments, but not for people like me whose love of books is restricted (more or less) to more modern-day, contemporary classics and have never formally studied literature. And the long, tedious descriptions of mere physical objects; her propensity for lists! Gah. I think this might be the last Byatt I read.