This is a quiet book. It is a very quiet book. Yet it is a very lovely book.One of the things that draws people to Denmark is the fact that Hans Christan ( 1805 - 1875 ) Andersen was born and lived there. In fact, Odenese most make a fortune out of tourists. It's a lovely town. Very quiet, yet very busy like this book. I've been to Shakespeare's Birthplace and other houses, I've been to various castles, I've been to various museums. Yet the Andersen birthplace was quiet, peaceful. It's true that most tourists gather at the centre and irgnore the birthplace, which is rather sad. In many ways, because it is so simple, it is so beautiful. But even the centre, though more crowded is peaceful. Usually such places are beautiful but full. For instance, Delf, in the Netherlands, is a huge draw because of its Delfware. Most tourists hang out in the town center, traveling from shop to shop looking for the best prices. The other places in Delf, such as Catherine's Gate, or the burial place of the supposedly French Dauphin are far quieter and somehow better because your average tourist doesn't go there. Your average tourist goes to the Andersen center, yet acts like he is off the beaten track.Dalkey's retelling of one of the most popular tales "The Nightingale" is good. She changes the setting to that of Japan and makes the tale one about first love, long love, and people rather than huge events. I think that Andersen himself would have enjoyed the book. I'm not extactly sure why I think this. Perhaps because what I remember most about Andersen is his grave. Andersen is buried in Copenhague, yet when he was first buried, he was buried next to his friend Edvard Collin and Collin's wife. Husband and wife were moved, leaving Andersen alone (very like the way he had been treated in life). Today, the grave is celebrated and much visited. The story about his burial and the fact that despite the visits of fans and lovers of his work, he is alone when he didn't want to be. This novel, this retelling, is about love and people, about the desire to not be alone. I think he would've liked that.