This is a mature contemporary novel that pulls you in and makes you care. What I mean by mature is not in the explicit terms, but in the construction and development of complexity. This is a read to pick up when you want to slow down. Sometimes a person can grow tired of fast-paced, or what I term, 'bam, bam, bam' reads that come at you like tennis balls out of a machine. Don't mistake my use of 'slow-paced' as boring. Nope, not at all. This is a book with complicated events mixed into complicated lives, all entangled and messy. There is always something melancholy that comes through in Irish writings, that underlying understanding that lingers beneath a shade of gray reality. Deceptions will not disappoint on this aspect of cultural influence with a splash of sainthood. There is an honest hope, not one tied up with a bright bow, but with a personal realization and growth that warms the heart and saddens it at the same time. Given all that happens in the book, you'd think the reader would be depressed, but Elliot has a way of never letting the reader get over-burdened, but manages to stroke the worst with a glimmer of optimism. Lorraine is a strong lead character that is stripped down and vulnerable. She has moments, regrets, flaws, insecurities, but also a strength that is reassuring. I'm glad she never turns pathetic, even though many a character might in her situation. On the flip side, she isn't cold, callous or bitter either, which makes her likable. Unlike her daughter, who I found to be the most annoying character. Ooh, how I wanted to slap that girl! Coupled with the sociopathic best friend, I'm shocked she was able to maintain her sanity! A lesser women would be wearing an orange jumpsuit with a prison number stitched across her chest. This book will grow on you as it deepens, if you give it a chance!