Martin gets inside the psyche of an actor, and made me better understand the process of inhabiting a role. If you've ever seen “Uncle Vanya” or “Sweet Bird of Youth” I think you will enjoy the description of Edward's analysis of his parts in these plays.
As in her other books, Martin does a terrific job of keeping the reader off balance and in creating a mounting sense of tension. The story is told by Edward, but is he a reliable narrator? Many times I would go back and re-read scenes between the two rivals. Did I really know where the truth lay? And what was Madeleine's role in the conflict? To her credit, Martin doesn't try to tidily tie up the answers at the end of the novel. All the actors talk about finding the truth in their characters, but Valerie Martin demonstrates that truth can be elusive.