Lauren Owen's The Quick is something of a "slow burn" read, first leading you down one path of Victorian England by the hand, then pushing you quite suddenly into something else that it leaves you shocked. The book keeps on doing this, time and time again as it changes from third person narration to another character's diary, and back and forth until you aren't sure you'll be able to differentiate one character from another or that Owen knows quite where her own story is going. But then Part 4 comes along and something amazing happens - characters that seemed superfluous at first show how essential they are, and you find yourself grateful for the jumps back and forth in time that in the beginning felt haphazardous. By the time you've finished reading, you don't want to let go of the world and characters and Owen has created and are simply left mystified and wishing for more. What promised to be the story of a would-be-poet in a dark Victorian London became nothing short of a wonderful story of grief, hope, survival, and love.