This is a very troubling book. It all takes place in the span of 24 hours after Helen murders her mother. Helen's mother, Clair is mentally ill and very demanding on her daughter. She also suffers from agoraphobia, the fear of leaving your own home. When a neighbour calls Helen to tell her that her mother does not even recognize her, Helen goes over to find her mother sitting in her own waste. What is she to do? Well, her solution is murder.
Helen is far too controlled. The events that follow are really not believable. The book is written in the first person but it is too literary for that and the fact that Helen is trying to come to terms with what she has done. Sebold does develop the characters very well. The relationship between Helen and her parents and their relationship is very complex and the reader is pulled in. I have loved Sebold's previous two books but didn't like this one much.
First Line: "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily."