A heartfelt thank you to Val for choosing this. I found it utterly gripping. I hadn't heard of it but was sold on the idea before I started, since it sounded fascinating. I agree with Valerie - and I would have refused to read it if it had been fictional. But as it was, I found it almost unbearably moving. I loved the support the women offered each other and the extra-curricular friendships they developed. I found them amazing women, and the things they coped with quite chastening. I was especially struck by the sheer number of children they had (generally quite willingly it seemed). I'm moderately unusual with 3, these days. Then I'd have been a lightweight! Yes, Valerie, the fluid written style was self-selecting and very welcome. The ending was rather bleak, wasn't it. I suppose that's often the case, but these women were articulating what often gets suffered in silence or just not broadcast to people like me in very different situations. It was a really mind-expanding read all the way through and I am just so glad that these women - and the other groups - found each other and shared so much.