I've been thinking about how, when I finish reading Reservoir 13, I turned back to the beginning and started reading it again. This isn't something I usually do when I read a novel, at least not right away, because most novels have a plot and main characters whose 'story' finishes in the last chapter.
Reservoir 13 doesn't have a plot and 'main' characters. It's not linear in this way. It's more like a piece of music, the Goldberg Variations, say, with themes and motifs, that combine in different patterns, and that you can listen to again and again without exhausting their interest.
Of course, there's the missing girl. She's the big bad wolf whose appearance we keep waiting for, but not really, because we get drawn into the life of the village, the very ordinary, but somehow engrossing life of ordinary people and plants and creatures.
The first time I read it, I realized the heron kept reappearing. I like herons, and at some point, I tried to go back through the chapters and see what the heron did in each chapter--maybe there was some symbol there? As in a haiku?
The second time I read more slowly and the people became more real to me, all of them interesting, all of them real, no one especially heroic or they're heroic in small (but important) ways
And the writing! The non-sequiturs, the evenness of tone, the sentence rhythms, the restraint...