I was really, really looking forward to this book. Pre-release hype billed it as a World War II-era fable incorporating Norse mythology into the life of a young girl evacuated to the British countryside. Unfortunately, all it turned out to be was a retelling of a few Norse myths with a few references to “the thin girl” living in the country. It wasn’t a BAD book, and if you don’t already know the Norse myths it would probably be much more enjoyable, but if you already know the stories there isn’t enough here to get excited about. The writing is very competent and Byatt has a nice voice, but I kept thinking, “Okay, yeah, everyone knows this. How does the girl figure into it?” For the most part, she doesn’t.