This is the first book I have read by Joyce Carol Oates and only read it because she was on "Sunday Morning" on CBC with Michael Enright. I was so angry reading this book, as Ms. Oakes was so negative about anything, that anybody tried to do for her when her husband passed away. It was like a "pitty party" for Joyce. My mother was widowed at 54 years of age after 36 years of marriage, but she coped and got on with her life, although it did take time. I believe this woman was so coddled and protected by her late husband that she could not function without him and that is probably why she remarried after his death. I don't think I will be reading any more of her books, I truly didn't like her writing style.