This is a beautifully crafted Victorian novel. the story of a young man's growth in a lyrical manner. The real strength of the author lies in her ability to evoke the beautiful, desolate landscape which surrounds Caius's formative years, and also the strength of the characters which she has created. Caius is presented to us as a weak, vacillating young man. His actions (or lack of) are determined by his seeming inability to form a decision.