Why did I love this book?
This story subverted many of my usual expectations, like the dark view of a few historical characters and the idea of a demon lover.
I like when a story is grounded in reality and then challenges me to see things differently in a persuasive way. Her skillful mash ups of the fantastic, gothic, historical, horror, and social commentary kept surprising me.
True, this is a harsh story, but I feel reading something like that clears the palate. My favorite bit: the demon’s bog kingdom, twisted in the Oates way.