The EW review that made this sound like a literary version of “Sliding Doors” may have gotten my expectations up too high as I expected to just outright adore this book. I did like some of it. But there were certainly points where the plot (either plot, sometimes both at once) just wasn’t going where I wanted it to and thus I found myself a little disappointed. And there were also times when I found myself frustrated with the decision making process of the characters and (some of them’s) incredible slowness at doing so.
Great descriptions of Irina’s artwork: to the point where you can almost picture it in your mind and really wish you could actually go buy these books for kids you know!!! (Similar to the descriptions of Bill’s paintings in Siri Hustvedt’s “What I Loved”. They seem so intensely “real”.) Liked the subplot with Irina’s family.
But afraid my expectations were not quite met.
Also I found the tenuous 9/11 connection a bit annoying, as I did with Ian McEwan’s “Saturday” as well. Don’t think either book really made that work in their favour.