... as well it should, given the title.
Even better — or worse — its page edges are the deepest black. Like you're about to get your hands dirty by picking it up. Between this and the cover, the packaging is very clever.
The tagline, and one of the first lines in the novel, is "This is going to be a little uncomfortable." I'm forewarned.
My copy arrived yesterday from Book Depository, ordered as part of my quest to travel to new places and times through historical fiction... and colonial Peru, circa 1784, is certainly unique. Plus I loved the author's earlier Carnevale, set in 18th-c Venice, and I understand her heroine, Cecelia Cornaro, makes an appearance here.
I'm not sure it's my type of book, but I'm willing to have my horizons expanded, and history isn't always pretty. There's an interview with the author at Penguin Canada's site. "A breathtaking story of unmitigated villainy, Holy Anorexia, quack medicine, murder, love, and a very unusual form of bibliomania," says the back cover. It's out from Bloomsbury UK this month, and from Penguin Canada in June. I hope to read it, and maybe review it here, in due course.