Mary-Margaret & Fritz, as James has lost his job. Ellen and James have two children, Amy & Bert. Fritz is not the most friendly and rather mean to the children and to everyone that is living in the house.
There is a very strong Catholic influence with Ellen's family and also James' family. In the home, there are Virgin Mary statues, the Last Supper, etc. and Ellen feels inundated with all of this. She becomes the wife, mother, maid, caretaker, etc for the whole household, including working as a teacher.
This was a depressing saga and I didn't really feel much for the characters. I know it was written about a different generation, but found I had no tolerance for the demeanor of these people.
This book exposes the underbelly of suburban family life that most try desperately to hide. Disturbing, yet you have to turn the pages. I read it in one night.
This book was disturbing to me. Family abuse just keeps on givingâ¦ The bravery of the main character, Ellen, made me happy though. She recognized the necessity to move elsewhere with her children and away from the continuation of abuse that family often repeats.