So - it seems I must eat my earlier words about the slow movement of the book. Folks - it picked up! The bottom line is this is literary fiction and with that comes a different set of standards and expectations. I, as the reader, had to allow Rowling to flesh out her authentic voice in this novel without trite comparisons to Harry Potter. It was hard to do, but I think I'm there.
I'm looking forward to finishing it soon.
JK Rowling, you have far exceeded my expectations. Thank you for being such a fantastic author.