Darlene was more believable. She’s so young, with a massive life change – yeah, she’s going to go off the rails a little bit. It probably goes on a bit longer than it should, especially considering we’re privy to her private thoughts, and she’s well over her little rebellion ages before making a change. I liked her parts the best – the rigid conformity of this small town was in desperate need of a young woman making her own rules.
Berta Mae was almost non-existent; she had very few chapters, and I think I found her as difficult as Aurilla did. Nothing is good enough, and everything is a problem. The most touching moments were her memories of her grandmother, but otherwise, I had very little interest in or patience with her. Similarly, Clayton was almost a non-entity. He was wishy-washy, his thoughts going in one direction while his actions went in another. As a result, he contributed very little to the story.
My instinct is to give this two stars. However, because I’m in a slump, I know I wasn’t attentive enough to pick up the nuanced parts of this very character-driven story, so I’m bumping it up to three.