This book has beautiful writing, nuanced characters and many social issues to think about. It made me think particularly of the way one person may influence another and not necessarily in a good way. However, even the twisted Patrick is a creature to be pitied and not a completely dark uni-dimentional person. The book also explores the issue of women not feeling maternal but being expected by society to conform to that image. It is not a pretty book with a feel good ending, it is a book with depth.