by Henry James
After reading the first couple of chapters, I actually went onto Wikipedia to find out what this story is about. I felt like I had come into the middle of something that hadn't been explained.
This is actually not unusual for stories written around the turn of the century. They have the wordiness of Victorian novels but often jump into the action without much explanation. I hadn't read James before and doubt that I will read anything by him again. I'm glad to have tried another well known author, even if he isn't going to be of further interest.
I found the story very difficult to get into. The dialogue sounded like everyone was in a perpetual state of surprise, the characters were not distinct and the plot seemed to take far too long to progress. For a short book, that's not good. The description had sounded really good. I'm just not at all impressed with the execution. Reading felt like more work that ploughing through a long Dickens book.