Behind all women are the ghosts of the women we most want to be. The haunting, if you like, of the perfection we may try to live up to. I felt for Lily, the mother in this story, not only because of the weight of the secrets she bares, but because of the guilt she wore like a sodden coat and the ever present stench of 'not being enough.' I think most women can relate. What awful things we do to ourselves when we simply refuse to love who we are, accept our past as being the best we were able to do at the time and hold hope for all our tomorrows. I still battle the ghost of a woman I think I 'should' be and the crazy-making thoughts that I will never be 'enough'. The thought I was struck with while reading this book was, 'the woman I fail to measure up to in my head isn't even real.' She's a ghost of my own making. *sigh. I had my hair cut recently and thought, "I don't look like me." But then I stared deeper into that mirror. I AM me. There isn't anyone else to be. I am that person in the mirror. I am all her ashes and all her beauty. And if I would only learn to fully accept her, I would not feel so continually haunted by my own judgements. It's a process I suppose. And that's just it really, I am a process. I am more convinced than ever after reading this book that the only freedom we ever really have will come from loving ourselves EXACTLY where we are and EXACTLY as we are. Secrets was a deep and heavy thread throughout this novel. Oh, the sheer magnitude of them! The crippling weight! And yet, when they were told the characters were free. Even just simply free to accept their own imperfections. Kali Napier writes beautifully! Her words made me think about myself as a woman, about the way I support or don't support the women around me and how I can love deeper.