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After learning she’s pregnant, Ruth Cleary reluctantly agrees to abandon her career in the city in order to move with her husband Patrick to a cottage adjacent to his parents’ property in the country. When her son Thomas is born, Ruth feels a disconnect between herself and the infant, and finds the responsibilities of caring for a sleepless baby and running her household alone overwhelming. Her perfect in-laws interpret her struggles as an embarrassing indication of mental instability, and Ruth agrees to spend a few weeks under a doctor’s care. Returning rested and optimistic, Ruth soon realizes that the task before her of proving herself "well" again to her husband and in-laws will be endless.
I am of two minds about this book. The plot itself is not wholly engrossing or compelling, but I enjoyed the ambiguity of the characters’ personalities. There were several times that I thought I knew exactly where the story or someone’s personality was going, but then something else would happen to check my assumptions. It was tempting, but ultimately impossible, to make black and white characterizations. For that, I rate the book higher than I might otherwise have.
posted May 1, 2009 at 2:40PM
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