I didn't like the triptych format, just out of personal taste. Also, I was expecting more plot. I'm interested in character studies (I absolutely loved The Epicure's Lament, for example, which is similarly plotless), but I think I'm too lowbrow to enjoy simply eavesdropping on the lives of upper-middle class Europeans. I need the characters to change or grow as people. Even Fenno, after years of his only friend dying and his only lover jerking him around, didn't seem to learn anything from his experiences. I admit I didn't finish the 3rd section about Fern: I stopped about five pages from the end of the book when I realized nothing was ever going to happen and nobody was ever going to learn anything. The prose was near-perfect, but this didn't feel like a novel to me in any way.