For once, I'll cut to the chase and give you the last bit of his review. But you should really read the whole thing, here. Then buy the damn book. Skip the real Canada Reads for once, and, to paraphrase the lovely Kerry Clare, Read Independently.
Henry James said that the only obligation of a novel was to be interesting. This one is fascinating.
And the writing. The writing is oh-so-artful, diction and syntax changing as we cast backwards in time; Smith does not allow himself to be trapped within the dictates of any particular style. This is a writer with a well-oiled gearbox, and he shifts gears smoothly without ever mistiming the clutch.
Also, it’s short. Writers of sweeping historical novels, take note: thine asses have been handed thee, upon a platter.
Read it. Now.