McEwen writes beautifully and he takes a lot of time building up Serena and giving a good idea of what goes on in her head, and includes long and detailed synopses of what she reads and how she reacts to the material. You understand how her thinking is shaped and why she acts as she does, how her beauty and intelligence affects the way she is viewed and treated, and how ultimately it influences her views of her own value and capabilities. There are clever turns in this novel (read carefully!) and a lot of discussion on how stories are created and told, and the different kinds of writers and readers. I have heard grumblings that Sweet Tooth is highly autobiographical, and not his best work. This is my first McEwen novel, so I really can’t comment, but if this isn’t his best, then bring on the rest! Highly recommended.