The writer in me genuflects. The reader in me thrills. This is one praiseworthy book. Tints of The Goldfinch swirled in with hues of The Hours gives you a decent picture of the sort of story this is, the atmospherics, mood, and tone, the elevated prose, and the themes that gird it. Compelling, haunting, a joy to read prose-wise, Dominic Smith keeps a tight line on what could easily become self-indulgent bloat. You can feel that artistic tension in the writing. A quietly gripping story rendered with some of the best prose I've ever read, period.