This story follows the life of a woman through the forty rooms that she will inhabit during her lifetime. It moves from her idyllic childhood in Russia, which is full of nostalgia and the presence of her mother and father, to college in the United States, which is full of adventures and new experiences and expectations of what life will bring, or what she thinks she wants out of life. It moves on to married life and children, which take up a growing part of her time and pull her away from some of the things she expected to do with her life. The author shows Mrs. Caldwell, the only name she is known by throughout the book, as someone who is full of regret, but at the same time she acknowledges a certain sense fulfillment as well. Nevertheless, nearing the end it is hard to tell which one she feels more fully, fulfillment or regret.
This was an interesting read, the structure of the book was unique, it had a dreamlike and haunting quality to it, which made it hard to put down. Overall this was a well observed work that covered so many of the issues that face women today. I can't wait to see what Ms. Grushin writes next.
Thanks to Shelf Awareness and Putnam Books for allowing me the read an advanced reader's copy in exchange for a review.