While the idea of the metafictional approach taken in the book appealed to me — it contained the actual fairytale, the Writer's story and the Reader's one — the execution fell a little flat for me. The fairytale was delightful enough. The Writer's own thoughts did ring through. The Reader had her own life and struggles that on some level tied in with the fairytale and some themes paralleled each other. However, by taking this approach, maybe depth had to be somewhat sacrificed. Also, complexity in this novel is not derived from the plot and characters but rather from the format.
When I do like a book, I dread reaching the end. With this book, there were points where I couldn't wait to be done with it. Overall, it was an enjoyable read though as it does well in adding a twist to a fairytale written in contemporary times. What kept me reading was the elegance of the language Lowry employed particularly in writing the fairytale parts. It also helped that each part had a different font to aid readers in distinguishing among the three plots.