I am not sure what I loved most about this book. The chapters are just-right short, and the transitions from chapter to chapter seem just like exactly-right placed stepping stones. The character development is rich too, and the tensions between characters made such sense. The storyline gripped me hard, making me read every word. If I am reading the dedication page accurately, Draper combined stories from the lives of her grandmother and father-- seek out more details on her website. As I read, I wondered which parts could connect with history and her relatives' lives. Mostly though I found Draper's work once again enlightened and beautiful. And yes, painful--I would be lying if it weren't that too. But Draper writes with such grace about such awfulness....A brilliant book and a rich read.