Struggled with portions

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There were aspects of this book that I did like (such as scenery/nature descriptions, the initial mysteries, and the flashbacks), but there were portions that were too off-putting for me. As others have mentioned, I had trouble suspending my disbelief... in many sections, it felt like the plot was being artificially pushed onward. In particular, I think the novel would have been stronger without the romance; most of my complaints are centered on the premise/implications of it and the bewildering leaps that were needed to make it happen. These portions of the book made me uncomfortable. In the end, these elements outweighed the positives for me, and I really struggled with finishing this book.