Julie Davis is a young adult whose life is unfolding. We might view Julie as privileged and exceptionally lucky. She has a kind, good, and successful husband who loves her. Her parents are both living, although divorced. She has one sibling, a brother. She has recently had a first child, a son who is almost one year old. She has financial security and friends. Conversely, she has had major depression, exacerbated by the birth of her son. She is receiving treatment from a psychiatrist and is taking medication. There are hints of sexual inappropriateness in her history—for example, possible abuse by her father. Julie struggles mightily just to stay alive, to feel that she is living. The author describes this state of depression with a consistency that permeates the emotional core of this novel. For Julie, self-hating thoughts emerge out of the smallest challenge; she has irrational fears as well as obsessive and negative thoughts that border on command hallucinations. We sense a desperate struggle to keep her life going after a serious suicide attempt.