As Castellani says, “in devising and drafting a narrative strategy, an author makes all sorts of craft decisions that influence how the work will be read and enjoyed”. He adds that the language can seduce the reader, maintaining the staying power of the work. It’s both of these that won me over – the book opens with his account of an incident in Philadelphia, the quality of the writing and the questions posed made it clear that this book will be truly memorable. He goes on to analyse the work of other writers (E.M. Forster, Grace Paley, etc.), hardening his points by recommending other sources (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted talk, John Gardner’s book, etc.), to show how those narrative decisions can make or break a novel. The book becomes more academic towards the end, losing some of the passion of those early chapters, but it’s a must read for anyone interested in the construction of fiction.