Beautiful setting, intricate plot, admirable prose ... I could go on and on. Yet, despite its opulence and beauty, it is a gilded scene because underneath the so-called reputable veneer, the biting, satirical portrayal of 1870s New York City exists. I also have never read a novel full of such unrequited love and longing. Not even Anna or Madam Bovary and their ill-fated romances come close to this one.