Duteurtre’s writing can at times be very beautiful, especially when he is describing some of the rural scenes. He also does a good job capturing some of the tension of Florence’s choice to live between these two worlds, one in which she happily accepts and benefits from (and ultimately even advocates for) technological progress and one in which she detests the way in which she sees them ruining the authenticity of her country home.
Because of that, Duteurtre had me with him almost until the end of the book. Almost. When he switched back to the third person narrator (a device he’d used at the very beginning of the book) to give us the last dreamlike scene, he lost me. I’m sure he meant for the ending to play out on several levels but it just didn’t work for me. I put down the book very disappointed in its conclusion. What I haven’t yet decided is whether or not those last eight pages are such a disappointment that I wouldn’t recommend the book to others or whether the well-done descriptive scenes (and the generally enjoyable storyline that raises an issue we must all struggle with on one level or another) outweigh it.