Sophie takes her cracked laptop, where her unfinished doctoral thesis resides, with her to Almeria, Spain. She has a Master’s degree in Anthropology so everything she sees and does is filtered through that lens. 

Sophie studies everything, including her mother, who is ill and looking for a cure at the Gomez clinic in Spain. 

More than once someone hints that Rose’s illness is psychosomatic and that she had entrapped Sophie in her own destructive fantasies. 

Levy does a great job of making Sophie, who is at war with herself, accessible and likable. Though she is 25, Sophie remains child-like and dependent upon her mother. When she meets the irrepressible Ingrid Bauer, however, things begins to shift.

Ingrid is everything Sophie is not; she’s bold and selfish. She carries a secret that changes Sophie’s view of her. 

Sophie has been abandoned by her father at five, but it one climatic moment Sophie abandons her mother. 

This is a novel for reader’s who like psychological, character-driven novels.