The story is pretty intriguing. There’s an eccentric nobleman who may have been driven mad in the Amazon, a spate of abused and murdered girls, English suffragettes, a freak show, a local terrorism event, metal health disorders, early electric technical glitches, and lots of other stuff. Without having lived through the era myself, it felt well researched and coherent, even though it gathered a lot of different aspects of the times.
And even with all that, I think it was the characters who really drove this story. Sebastian works too much, but is empathetic, and the decisions he make all make sense in the context of the story. He’s surrounded by an autistic son, a working wife (as a hospital administrator), and an old maid sister-in-law, who all have distinct personalities. One event near the end of the novel--too spoiler-y to mention in detail--actually brought me to tears.
Overall, a good, easy read that kept me engaged throughout.