This is a fascinating read (I devoured it in 2 days) about some murky corners of human nature. Every woman who is in a relationship with an abusive, perverted, manipulative partner should read this book to see where such things may lead -- what a big toll they take; what a nonsensical journey it is (and how harmful to children of such couples).
Of course, at the time when the events described in that book took place (2nd half of the 19th cent.), women were more dependent on men for survival, especially when children were involved, but you can nevertheless imagine someone being in an identical situation today.
I really loved the personal, biographical tone of this book, and the quaint picture of life in 19th cent. Europe that it brings to life. It left me hungry to learn more about the writer -- how and where she eventually died, what happened to her son, if she left any other personal papers -- but a google search was disappointing.
The reason I have not given this book 5 stars is because the quality of translation is embarrassingly poor. Also, the book has been published in a very sloppy, amateurish way. There is a complete absence of professional editorial care; there are no explanations of obscure, historic names; the illustrations are ridiculous (silly, contrived and contorted images where readers would have enjoyed some relevant old photos of people and places mentioned in the book).
But in spite of all that, I'm glad this book was made available in English. It would be good if it was republished as a part of a well-researched and properly illustrated monography.