Oops. I ordered this thinking it was non-fiction. I am interested in this topic -- deformity, monstrous birth, etc -- in a historical and sociological way, but not so much in fiction. Also, I tend to prefer my fiction plot-heavy and this, despite being labeled a "novel" is more a collection of quite short pieces on a theme: Different people in different times and cultures reflecting on being/meeting/thinking about individuals with physical differences. I'm also not into the "mixing of fact and fiction" approach. Not to my taste, but if it sounds like something that might be to yours, the writing seems decent.