The Irish have a gift for telling dark, rich stories with a sense of compassion, so you don't feel like you're drowning when you read them. O'Brien is one of those writers. Unlike some of her heavier novels, this one has some levity, some sweetness. It follows two Irish girls who move to Dublin, then England. More than anything, it's the tone of this book—the romantic yearning of young girls—that really stayed with me.