The two main characters of the book, Jilly and Raylene had both been horribly abused as children. Jilly is a character whose appeared a lot before, Raylene was new. In this story Jilly was the "good" character and Raylene was "bad". Though I really didn't see it that simply in my mind. Jilly ran away from her brother, became a junkie and a prostitute and was "saved" by a social worker and given a chance to finish school, and became an artist whom everyone liked. In this story the tragedy she faces is being hit by a car and becoming crippled. Raylene seemed much stronger. She had a close friend she stayed with her whole life. Her friend gave her a knife and she was able to stand up to her brother, cut him so he'd stop abusing her. She was determined not to become a prostitute, and never got into drugs. She was strong and clever and used her knowledge to take care of her and her best friend. Though of course she also became a con artist and a thief, but she managed to pull herself up and never relied on outside help.
It was a very interesting book, without such heavy moralising, and without a happy ending, especially compared with Widdershins. It seemed less exciting but much more tragic. There was a lot more sitting around talking and a lot less going around and rescuing people. It was interesting to read the two back to back, and in the wrong order. I think I did prefer Widdershins, and you could probably read it without reading this one first, but they do go very well together. There's just a couple times where the gritty realism doesn't quite seem real enough. But I did really enjoy it, particularly the characterisation was very good. And as I said about Widdershins you can really picture everything that's happening and it totally absorbs you. It's good to go back and remember why you like an author so much....Continua