Wow, respectfully disagree with you on this. I found the book poetic and powerful. The machinations seemed purposefully similar to those of depression era storytelling. The songs elevated everyone and everything from that melodrama to something truly magical. I couldn’t imagine the balance any other way, while also recognizing that balance is essential to its success creatively. We don’t have to agree. This was my take. But we do agree about Mare (did I spell her name correctly?) She is the best leading female actress this season. I’ve seen all the nominated performances and I am one who did not find Sharon Clark that groundbreaking.