I started this book with high expectations but slowly I'm afraid I became increasingly disengaged from the story and indeed the heroine. There's something immensely irritating about Annie Powers and I never felt I was allowed to get beneath the surface of her character. I think it's something to do with the fact that there's a lot of telling and not very much showing the reader what's going on in this book. Not only that, but so many different things are going on in so many different timeframes and to so many different people (who might or might not be real) that after a while I started skipping, especially towards the end.
There is a grain or two of a really great story here, however. It's just a shame that it's overwritten, lots of information keeps being repeated in different forms, and it goes on far too long. A good hundred pages could have been lost with no real dent in the plot.
That said, I did actually think the ending is one of the most powerful things about it. I've seen comments from readers who are very annoyed about the ending - and I can very well understand why. However, for me, the ending did at last give a real and solid glimpse into the heart of Annie Powers, and so felt in that sense very satisfying indeed. Just a shame the rest of the novel couldn't have been the same.
Verdict: Muddled. 3 stars