The book is written from the point of view of three women, the real mother, the adoptive mother, and the woman who was adopted. These observations begin with the real mother and on through the adopted girl's life from her school days to the present day. The adoptive parents were unsuitable, and the book brilliantly describes how the poor girl was put through embarrassments at school. The parents even denied her the opportunity of a scholarship. The adoptive mother in particular appeared to have no love for the girl at all, indeed probably not for anyone. That character was really well portrayed, as was her narrow and unintelligent outlook on life. The girl's character also comes over very well and we know that she instinctively felt that she did not belong in this family. Her dauntless spirit shines through, and when compared with that of her real mother, it seemed that perhaps the real mother and father gave in too easily, but then the times were different. A really good read!