This novel started off badly with Nora having similar traits as that of the milquetoast doormat Eilis in Toibin`s Brooklyn. However, Nora became a much more assertive character with the passing of time. Devastated by the early death of her husband, Nora is not always the most convivial person. Her husband was the centre of her life; she seemed to have sacrificed herself to keep him content. Her relationship with her extended family and her children is strained, though it appears that she has from an early age been difficult and frequently in conflict with others. She is not necessarily a likable character and what motivated her to do some of the things she did was difficult to understand. It is a novel that you keep thinking about long after you`ve read it.