i didn't like it much. i am a big fan of her stories. it opened well, but once the event happens, which the books turns on, it falls apart and i lost interest in the characters. i think there are novels that should be long stories. its because the theme is great, but the plot, the characters, the story do not need the length of a novel to develop. and instead do not stand under the weight of that much scrutiny. i liked the movie brokeback mountain by proulx [sic], but her short story was a lot better. at times the movie dragged and that was because it was too long. scene after scene of frustration and anger over living a lie was wasted in the movie. the story gave a clear, but concise glimpse. the reader got it. here i think it was the same for oates. where in stories like "where are you going, where have you been" she communicates so much in a matter of pages, i think she communicates so little over the matter of a novel. a horrible thing is done to a family member, the family feels unable to address the wrong at the time, and consequently they disintegrate. and one third into this book that is clear and we read about it for another few hundred pages.