As a huge Patricia Highsmith fan, I couldn’t wait to read the semi-autobiographical source material for Carol. Highsmith’s writing style, in general, lends itself well to film adaptations because of her close attention to detail. With this book in particular, I felt like I could visualize exactly how Todd Haynes would portray the clothing, settings, and other period details (think Far From Heaven and Mildred Pierce), and also exactly how Cate Blanchett would play the role of Carol. This actually enhanced the reading experience rather than detracting from it, particularly in picturing the New York City scenes and the road trip out West.
As you would expect from a Highsmith novel, the action turns suspenseful later in the book. As you would definitely not expect, the romance is tenderly and emotionally depicted. The last few pages, especially, pack a big wallop.