What I gleaned about the stories: To the inhabitants, the most fantastical worlds are mostly filled with tedious and mundane tasks.
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Analysis: Illustrations in adult fiction books are unusual, so discovering each story began with a cover made the book feel more exciting than I expected.
Analysis: Each story has a consistent narrative voice, with a good mix of accessible language and character-appropriate jargon. For example, when a little distance into the third story, the narrator uses the word ‘gaingivings’ I felt happy assuming from context that it was an archaic version of misgivings because the author had already established this narrator as using old-fashioned words for effect.
Analysis: A character is described as being given strength so she can “…expiate in her relations’ behalf.” As usually people expiate for something, when I hit ‘in’ I expected a series of sub-clauses such as ‘expiate in her relations’ place for their actions’; so ‘behalf’ was surprising enough that I had to read the sentence several times before I decided it was a typographical error (“…expiate on her relations’ behalf.”) rather than a deliberate choice with a different meaning.
Although I did unravel the sentence, reading it several times while questioning whether or not it was a mistake definitely broke my flow. It also distracted me enough from the wider description that I felt I needed to go back a page or two to be certain of picking up the thread again.