More than anything, I love the way Hannah Kent writes. Her use of language is inventive, perceptive, lush, evocative. Somehow she worms her way inside you, the reader, so that you are absorbed into the narrative, into the scene. Her descriptions are to die for. ‘The sea was flat and it mirrored the sky’s glory, bringing the lights down to the horizon so that it seemed the ship was suspended in stars’ (p229). Yes, the pace dragged at times, in particular the wretchedly long and torturous voyage, and some scenes that relied on magical realism went just a bit too far. Overall, however, it was her writing that triumphed.