I had to read this book for my English Novel class in the master's program I'm in and so this wasn't something I would have picked on my own, however, I am glad I got the opportunity to read it. It's a really beautiful, yet complex, piece of literature. There isn't much external action-most of the book takes place inside the minds of the characters using the 'stream of consciousness' technique. What made the book more fascinating to me was the life of the author-a true bohemian and rebel, arcing away from the standard definition of novel (i.e. that of the Victorian period), and creating a masterpiece in message and style. Although it isn't that long(relatively short in fact especially when compared to Adam Bede and Bleak House!), I have to admit this was a tough book to read--and took all the concentration I had to get through it. It required me to read and re-read several parts multiple times to determine whose thoughts were being shared, but it was worth it in the end. I highly recommend this book if you have the time, and patience, to devote to it.