Like other Banville books, the writing in this book is very good. But for some reason, I couldn't develop any sympathy for the characters nor did I find myself wanting to pick the book up again. I did manage to get about 3/4 of the way through before I gave up. I didn't care enough about what happened to these people to read that last quarter. I think part of it is that I know exactly, from lots of personal experience, how cruel kids are and I find it boring and off-putting to read about it.