Before I say anything about this novel i will say that the author and I became acquainted as very young children living on the street mentioned in her book (her street number was221 as mentioned, mine was 201 and the name of the street was sort of what she called it). I will also say we went to the same Catholic grade school (in Elmhurst, IL and her descriptions of the events that occurred were true to the best of my recollection. She and I never had the same nun though. Ok now the book. Costello described her story as one about "coming of age" and that it was. I certainly cannot say that the story (other than the portions talking about Immaculate Conception School) were autobiographical and I really hope they weren't. The author describes an ordeal that I can best describe by using one of my daughter's favorite words: Jarring. I read the book in two days, maybe a little more and after following her from the Chicago area all the way out to California, I really was exhausted! The story line was entertaining and I would say at least partially believable, not that a work of fiction should be believable. I only use that term as the author has described her work as one depicting a young woman growing up from a naive young gir, apparently abused by her mother and somewhat ignored by her father who seemed to be more interested in practicing law and avoiding her mother. I've recommended the book to friends and family members as it was entertaining but I must say I was intrigued by the fact that our lives (the author's and mine) crossed so many years ago. Read it, you will enjoy it.