Ford is a master wordsmith. His skill is so subtle and smooth that my imagination was carried gently along, naturally easing me into the perspective of the protagonist. The characters were raw, imperfect, awkward, believable and clear without over-explanation. The narrative was fascinating and haunting, and evolved as the protagonist grew older. This was not a neat, tidy, or formulaic story. It had textures and colours that bled beyond the pages and into my non-reading moments. I wasn’t gripped or excited by this book, and I appreciated that he didn’t rush. I was comfortably pleased to read it, and felt tremendously satisfied when I was done. I will seek out more of Richard Ford’s writing as a direct result.