“A surprisingly different kind of great Richard Ford novel… one that casts its spell very slowly and with a steady cumulative power,” says the Guardian. I suppose it’s ok, though I doubt if this novel would have been perused by the likes of the Guardian’s Fiction Reviewers unless it had been written by a great such as Ford. Apart from being pretty good in patches, it does suffer from a pretty shoddily constructed innocent-childhood / adult-reminiscent perspective, and whole stretches where it’s hard for the reader to care very much. But some lovely writing in places too, particularly when the kid finally does make it to Canada. Poorly conceived. Well executed in part.