I originally wasn’t interested in this book – the jacket text didn’t intrigue me. But a coworker of mine recommended it, and I found myself drawn into it within the first few pages. It’s definitely my favorite book of the year so far. I loved the story, but also the stories within the story – Marianne Engel’s historical, tragic love stories, with repeating common themes, and the narrator’s journey through Dante’s hell. I loved each of the characters, and found myself reading it slowly to enjoy certain passages and stories, with the author’s vivid writing bringing every scene to life. Definitely one I am going to buy and keep on my bookshelf.