I'm a fan of Vapnyar's two collections of short stories, but her first novel left me looking for more -- or less. I can see a great short story here as much of the middle seems lost. What I like is her tie in with Polina, Dostoevsky's "muse," and the narrator herself. The connection back and forth says less about the writers than the muses, and they are both interesting people.But the middle section could have been much less as it seems to wander from day to day. I was also disappointed by the ending, which had a surprising updating and concluding style to the story, something I would not expect from a short story reader.Overall, not a bad novel, but not as good as it could be. Regardless, if she writes another I'll still be willing to pick it up.