- At the center of the story is a young girl who wades through the pretensions and deceits of the people who surround her and forms bonds of love, respect, and friendship, but the author adds layer upon layer of satire, wordplay, playful experimentation with forms of fiction, even commentary on other books (and especially The Great Gatsby. Plus it has one of the great book websites.
- An adolescent boy, miserable at his third school, St. Oswalds in East Anglia Britain, a watery world on the sinking coast of Britain where Roman forts failed at staving off the advances of Saxons and Viking hordes, meets an enigmatic boy during a training run with his classmates. Finn lives self-sufficiently alone in a small hut on the causeway, accessible only at low tide. Our narrator falls in love with the person he would like to be. A completely beguiling novel told in perfect voice.