Despite what one or two of the other reviewers has said, this is indeed a great novel. It is not an easy novel to read, however, given the highly disturbing nature of the subject matter--child abuse--and the realistic way Ketchum portrays it. It is also a novel in which good does not triumph over evil (that's not really much of a spoiler, by the way--this almost never happens in a Ketchum book), which might also limit your enjoyment. It's not the book to choose if you want to curl up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a comforting, light, easy read. But, if you're willing to confront some of the more disturbing aspects of the human condition and the flawed nature of some of our society's institutions which sometimes enable, rather than prevent, nasty things to happen, give this book a try. It's second only to Ketchum's _The Girl Next Door_ in the level of nasty, disturbing, realistic horror that he's able to bring to his storytelling.