i guess that the writing is literary and the scope attempts to be vast, but mostly this book didn't work for me. the writing was too vague and didn't keep me invested at all; i found myself drifting quite a bit, and there was nothing in the writing or the story to bring me back in.if i had to make a guess, i'd say that this is about the relationship between women and their daughters, and how similar those relationships are across cultures. mostly, though she focused on negative aspects of this relationship, or generalities that really didn't resonate with me.what did resonate with me, though, as we're dealing with our adoption disruption, was this quote, in thinking about how birthparents could ever possibly part with their newborns:"How am I to forget the frantic cries that night after night jolted me from dreams that gradually took on the dark tones of disaster? The helpless body, limp as life, whose rescue from starvation depended on my renouncing the self sought in sleep and turning to her with full breasts? How is it possible for either of us to recover from an intimacy such as ours?"