this is a book with a lot of sadness and everyday tragedy, very little hope and joy. but it has quite a bit of spirit, and i think it's written very true to life. it's a beautiful, sad little book. mostly about loneliness, if i had to sum it up in one word."She took a deep, quiet breath and thought how she did not envy those young girls in the ice cream shop. Behind the bored eyes of the waitresses handing out sundaes there loomed, she knew, great earnestness, great desires, and great disappointments; such confusion lay ahead for them, and (more wearisome) anger; oh, before they were through, they would blame and blame and blame, and then get tired, too.""Back and forth she went each morning by the river, spring arriving once again; foolish, foolish spring, breaking open its tiny buds, and what she couldn't stand was how - for many years, really - she had been made happy by such a thing."