Introduction aside, there were some elements of the book that I enjoyed. It's about a young girl being brought up by an eccentric and fervent Christian mother, and is often very funny. Here, for example, is where she goes to see a girl she admires who works at a fish stand:
Week after week I went back there, just to watch.One can't deny this is hilarious. However while the main story is engaging and fun, unfortunately there are also long stretches of - get ready for it - disconnected fragments of fairy tales. I know! It's worse than dream sequences. I showed her by skipping these bits entirely. Modern classic indeed.
Then one week she wasn't there any more.
There was nothing I could do but stare and stare at the welks. Whelks are strange and comforting.
They have no notion of community life and they breed very quietly.
But they have a strong sense of personal dignity.
Even lying face down in a tray of vinegar, there is something noble about a whelk.