Umm...I might identify with Miles just a teeny tiny bit.
That said, this was perhaps my least favorite of hers. Miles didn't have enough at stake throughout the book, which made it all feel a bit rambly. And in fact, there was a certain thoughtlessness in his actions at times which actually did some injury to the characters who had the most at stake. I was disappointed to see that -- it seemed out of character, and made me wonder why Bujold had made that choice. I'm sure it wasn't accidental, given her general skill. Bewildering. I'm sort of hoping there's a payoff for that character shift in a later book.
Also, I was more than a bit frustrated by the way the parenting was handled -- Miles basically burbled over his perfect children who don't seem to have given him any difficulty at all, and there was an offhand reference to how insanely busy his wife was. She has four small children, a huge household staff to oversee, diplomatic duties as his wife and co-leader of their large district, agricultural supervision of the district, and a garden design business of her own. He dismisses it all in a sentence. Seriously??? I am really hoping that when we see them again, there's some kind of confrontation over the division of labor there, and some acknowledgement that superhuman effort is likely to lead to total breakdown if kept up indefinitely.
Overall, glad I read it, but most of this book I won't want to re-read (more than a few times).
But that said, the drabbles punched me in the gut. I bawled.
Can't say more without spoilers, but let's give fair warning now and say that if there are comments to this entry, there may be spoilers in them. From me, even. :-)
So glad to hear that she's sixteen chapters into an Ivan novel!!!