It is wonderful, but I find it really hard to explain why. Plotwise, nothing really happens. Maybe at the end of the book, because some family secrets get unveiled, but there's no (apparent) progression of a clear plot. The genius of this book is its prose, which grasps you and makes you go from one sentence to the next with an inexplicable intensity. Marías relies on repetitions and circumventions and long stream-of-consciousness paragraphs which may or may not make you forget about the main subject, and the novel advances spiralwise to its conclusion and it is simply beautiful. It communicates a sense of oppression, as if the characters were doomed. It's plastic (as in art). This book should be read because of its sheer beauty. I'm definitely reading more by Marías.