An amazon.com reviewer likened this book by Ann-Marie MacDonald to a car accident, in which you know you shouldn't gawk but just can't help yourself. I should have stopped gawking a week ago. This was a painful epic about a completely dysfunctional Nova Scotian family in the early 1900s. The writing in itself was excellent and the characters compelling in a train-wreck sort of way, but I closed the book last night wondering what possessed me to wast a week's worth of reading on these horribly depressing lives. Double thumbs down.