I finished it! All 980 pages of it. And I enjoyed it. I guess I've been out of escape fiction mode for a while now, so it took me some time to get into it. Over 200 pages, I think. Originally I thought that her most recent books just needed better editing, and maybe they do, but now I think the problem is also that I've forgotten how to read that kind of immersive, detailed writing. It can be a really fun way to read, if you want to escape into another time and/or place. I guess that's why I call it escape fiction. But these days it seems cumbersome and sometimes cliched to me.
Don't get me wrong! I still want to escape sometimes, but I guess I've learned that it doesn't really work: after reading for 8 hours, all the kids and housework are still there and in worse shape than before. So instead of doing the marathon reading thing I used to do, I took my time finishing this one.
One thing I thought was odd: a couple of scenes that were like The Three Stooges or something, where everyone's bumping heads and dropping food on the floor and slipping on banana peels. Okay, nobody slipped on a banana peel, but it conveys the right image. Seemed strange in the Jamie and Claire context.