This book was a bit of a slog for me and took me a lot longer to finish it than I thought it would. I found it hard going, one dimensional and flat.
I found the writing clumsy and ham-fisted. Lester was too busy telling us to show us. She was telling us how beautiful dresses were, how beautiful scenery was, how beautiful characters were and how ugly a few were. It is sometimes necessary to tell, but as a general rule, writing is at its best when it shows. There was way too much telling going on here.
The other reason was, I felt that Lester did nothing to challenge any stereotypes or any assumptions. The characters who I thought were all supposed to be good were good, those who were supposed to be bad were, and they all had the characteristics that I expected them to have. There was nothing to challenge the reader, or at least this reader. This lack of nuance and the unexpected left the reading experience flat for me.
I did quite like the plot, but it was not enough. I never felt for the characters, could not identify with them in anyway and while I wanted to find out what happened, I never really cared about what happened.