I wanted this book to be love at first sight. Instead it took more time - and some effort on my part too. All worth it for a deeper, more complex relationship - and an exploration of the darker side of love, guilt, pain and grief. A melancholy read, rich in language and dripping with atmosphere. Expect all the trappings of the Victorian gothic but with a more pervading sadness, except for Albína Horáková who is a joy and a true grotesque.