Read for the What's In A Name Challenge, I found the plot engaging enough to want to know what happens to the characters. However, I found myself wondering why so much praise was heaped upon this book. I would rate it as only slightly above average, but then again, it really isn't much like the type of stuff I would normally read. Which, I think, is the brilliance of these challenges. They can push you outside your comfort zone. So, while I found the book rather bland, I would consider reading more Penelope Fitzgerald. Perhaps Offshore for which she won the Booker Prize. Or even The Beginning of Spring, The Gate of Angels, or especially The Bookshop, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
[Y]ou should never lend a book or a woman. There's no obligation to return either. (p. 163)