Another earnest novel, but with enough plot (and thoughtful characterization) to balance out its more lecturey moments. The writing occasionally rose above serviceable to reach something numinous, particularly in the descriptions of how the world looked to those who could see myth overlaid on reality. I appreciated its rejection of genre conventions, from Ellie and Iris's rivalry-quickly-turned-friendship to the lack of love triangle to the messy ending, which allows for hope without tying everything up in a neat and tidy bow. I did think the curse was gilding the lily; there were enough issues between Our Wacky Couple, given their mutual lack of self-esteem and on-page history of violence and violations of trust, that additional externally generated barriers seemed a distraction. But it's not like it plays a big role in the plot. I wonder if it was more important in an earlier draft.