This was my first Quindlen novel (I had read "Object Lessons"; excerpts from her newspaper column, which was why I fell so in love with her). She has been my favorite author since. Anyway, this was also her first novel, I believe, and she doesn't like to admit it, but it pretty much mirrors her personal life. The book is about the double standards placed on women and how because we are women, anytime the family unit falls, whether it be of illness or financial or whatever, of course the women/caregivers are the ones to bring their lives to a screeching halt to assume the new role of family mender. No matter that the men may have nothing significant going on in their lives. She is a great advocate for women.