Then, as Chassi stirs up the therapist's latent maternal instincts, Costello finds herself talking about her youthful role as a Vietnam War protester, and Chassi reflects that the therapist must be the same age as her mother. So far, so good; transference and countertransference in the making—and yet, to my ear, it is here that the novel feels flat. After the break with Freud comes this description of the seasoned therapist's reaction: "Okay. The truth was, she had to watch herself, she had to be careful not to make a transference, a substitution, a switch. She'd lost her place and she wouldn't do it again, she wouldn't let herself. Talking to Chassi as if she were a daughter, she wouldn't do it again." The discussion is accurate enough, but far too superficial to ring true.