This book was the subject of my local book group - and I am so glad, because the plot synopsis and reviews on the back would never have inspired me to read it. Clare Messud draws you in completely and inescapably to the life of the LaBasse family - and slowly and descriptively tells of the life of a fractured, destructive and disfunctional family unit. I am sure there are many themes within the book, and everyone looks for their own meaning, but for me the book was all about how we are all trapped into our families - by relationships, circumstances, politics, economics. What really stood out for me though was how I never for one minute forgot who was telling the story, without feeling overwhelmed with pity or sympathy for Sagesse. I felt I ended up judging and viewing her on how she retold the story - not on what she said about herself. Sagesse makes the point herself in the books when she points out that within families when people tell stories very often what is left out is just as important as what is said. Absolutely beautiful!