Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
This was one of the most difficult books I have ever had to go through; thank gosh for the chapter by chapter discussions I found on LiveJournal, or else I probably would have given up. I was so utterly lost from a lot of the assumed knowledge of cultural slang and historical context. But. I was hanging on to every interaction, going back to reread and realize the subtle moments and meanings that were taking place that I had completely missed. The prose was gorgeous. Even though I had to work extremely hard to understand it. Ralph and Laurie were worth it. They made my heart sigh, yes.
I just need some veeery light and brainless reading now.