The paradox of a bucolic setting lurking with danger - both physical and emotional - is one I could certainly relate to. But I was still surprised to find the story so believable, what with a dead stripper ghost and all (which I concluded was Catherine's suppressed personality). The characters are well developed, but their every thought is not spoon-fed to the reader, allowing our own imaginations to ponder some of the characters' motivations and secrets based on our personal experiences. That's a welcome lack of condescension and an incredible accomplishment for a first novel. Maybe the best compliment I can give is that reading this book re-established a love of fiction - dormant through years of non-fiction study - and made this past winter one of my most enjoyable ever. It's been a pleasure. Thanks Ellen.