Everyone seems to be raving about this book - winner of the Orange Prize and written by an author that is being described as one of best fiction authors under 40. Parts of this book are beautiful - the writing, the integration of myth with story, and that bit of mysterious magical realism that keeps you wondering if this could really happen. But what I felt this book was lacking was an overall cohesive plot, as well as characters that were warm and vibrant. Although you get to know some of the characters through amazing stories, there was still an aloofness, or barrier that made you feel that important connection between reader and story. Also, I was completely bewildered by the ending of this book - so much so, that I searched online to find out what I had missed. What I discovered was all these forums with the same question - what was that ending about? Overall a story with great potential that didn't quite pull together for me.