Now i must admit that reading the blurb for this book i was a little put off and i probably wouldn't have picked it up and bought it full price in a shop. However, having read it i can't recommend it highly enough, it really was amazing especially since it's a first novel.Firstly i have to say i really liked the little stories told throughout the book, they were like little short stories within the larger book. Every time we started a new short story i settled down and knew i was going to enjoy it as a story on its own and as part of the larger book. Some of the stories made me cry and some of them made me a little angry, but not one would i have missed.I have to say i didn't really appreciate the latter section of the book when we went through a Dante-esque moment, i felt this was highly contrived. However, i got through it and made it to the end of the book, which was very poignant as would be expected by anyone reading the rest of the book.Anyway, i really loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone else, in fact i might very well loan it to my neighbour.