Oh, my.I absolutely detested this book; I finished merely because I HAD to get finished with it so that I could put it away.Morris has created a world in which no one is free of some warping or embittering experience except the family next door to the protagonists, and they are presented in such cliched, matchstick form as to be beyond credibility—they exist merely as a balance to the pitiful main family and the characters who attach to them in an ever-widening series of cracks in the society of the small town in which they live.If her point is that we all have weaknesses, in the vein of "there but for the grace of God...," I get it—but I entirely reject the apparent observation that everyone (with the exception of the unrealistically portrayed next-door neighbor) is twisted—not just flawed, but twisted.I do get the idea that Morris apparently thinks she is making, that Marie Fermoyle (the central character) is actually strong, pulling something from nothing, from the disaster that her life has been—but the novel is distasteful to me almost from the start.There were times while I was reading it that I wanted to get up and wash my hands.
So—Oprah recommendation or no, I thoroughly dislike this book and recommend it to NO ONE—unless you just want to see for yourself, and that's exactly what I would do after I read such a repudiation.