I'm willing to accept that I just wasn't in the mood for this; everyone seems to love the book to death except me. I thought it was decent, but given the choice between this and Richard Yates, I'll take Yates, who picks up most of the same themes (see: title of this book, except for the religious faith crisis type thing) but just puts his sentences together more effectively. It may also be that I just dislike novels that take place by and large in boarding houses; I was similarly unmoved by Hamilton's Slaves of Solitude. Although that, too, might have been a mood thing. I suspect I should have read Judith when I read Slaves and vice versa. Such are the contingencies that govern book reviews. Anyway, this is smart, compassionate and ironic all at once. Worth a shot.