I decided to read this book after it was chosen by Brighton & Hove's wonderful City Reads initiative as the city's book for 2012. The City Reads website is here: http://cityreads.co.uk. Most of the story takes place in and around Brighton and Hove.
I struggled with the book for the first hundred pages or so. This section contained, what felt like, a lot of background information. After this first section, the book switches into a second narrative voice and picks up considerably. Once the second narrative voice emerges it put the earlier sections into context.
As the story progressed I became more and more immersed in the book. It's well written, and it beautifully - and tragically - tells the story of two doomed love affairs. It also vividly evokes the casual and widespread oppression of homosexuals and women in 1950s Britain. This is the book's main strength, reminding the reader how far we've travelled from those dark days but also how we need to fight to maintain and enlarge those freedoms. A powerful, moving and engrossing read.