There is a thread weaving its way through the storyline of this (mostly well-written) first novel: the growing pains of two women at very different points in their lives, whose paths cross and who ultimately become each other's stalwart defender and champion. With the exception of some unnecessarily intense and terse dialogue, the characters prove to be interesting enough to hold the reader.
It is revealed in the liner notes that the author herself attended a small Catholic college much like the one in her story. Our brilliant protagonist, Sarah Morrow, is an aging yet still popular Chaucer scholar, whose personal tragedy does not become her downfall - on the contrary, her personal relationships with her former students: one devastatingly handsome Jesuit priest and Joan, a young divorced mother, are what hold her together throughout a long process of renewal.
This story demonstrates the power of inner strength over political and personal adversity. If you enjoy references to Long Island, the LIRR, medieval literature and don't mind an occasional jaunt into one woman's personal philosophy about the restrictions of Catholic academic politics (with a few expletives NOT deleted), then you will come away from reading this book with a newfound appreciation for the strength inherent in the lives of women who don't let adversity get them down!