There are two stories going on in this book at once. One is that of a reporter. How do assuage the guilt of a horrible mistake, a mistake which cost someone else everything? How can you ever make up for that, or look yourself in the mirror again?
The other is the story of Maureen and Harrold, her abusive husband. Shreve does a good job of developing the relationship and making us understand how Maureen, an intelligent woman, finds herself in this abusive marriage.
After Maureen escapes, she falls in love with a married man in a small town. Eventually, she must pay the price for all of her choices and the outcome is devastating to everyone involved.
There are some subtle things going on in this story as well. The idea that a witness' statements can be motivated by something they themselves are not even aware of. The idea that the circumstances of a crime can seem very different depending upon which angle you look at them from. A well done story.
This report prepared by Alicia Cathers