This book turned out to be a tug-of-war for my attention span. From the start, I was entranced by the setting of Prague at night. I loved the details, the exquisite worldbuilding, and a lamplighter’s job description as I’d never encountered before. This book is a love story to Prague, I thought happily, and settled in for what I expected to be a binge read straight through to the end.
However, binge slowly turned into drudge, shortly after the introduction of a will-o-the-wisp. I loved that little bottle-dweller, but unfortunately the storyline bogged down not long after its arrival. I tried to push through, but eventually set the book aside, even though it was the selection for my next book club meeting.
I went to book club anyway and confessed that I had not finished the book. I was assured that while yes, others thought the first half dragged, the plot would pick up at the halfway mark, and would be worth reading again.
So eventually I picked it up again, and couldn’t help skim-reading to reach that magical halfway point. Amazingly, I became fully interested in the plot again at the 49% mark!
This is a beautifully crafted book, filled with lush descriptions and unique characters. The mental images will stay with me for a long time to come. I only wish the story had better pacing.