I finished the book last night, so I think I need to mull over it a bit more, so here are jsut first impressions - but first of all I also want to thank Issybird as I did not even know Dawn Powell existed. To summarise what has been already written, she is simply a great writer: what a great craftmanship.
Perhaps the only negative point for me is the "scene" with Andy: to me he was a bit too much of a caricature in his total disregard for others and utter lack of empathy, too much of a total fool.
Besides this, I really liked Powell giving shadows to each of the main characters: even Effie's sense of triumph in the end is somewhat toned down by her being unable to get him to acknowledge her: she has to compromise and project a different woman to what she is.
I also surprised myself by quite liking Orphen!