This book was actually more substantial than I was expecting. I found the characters to be well rounded, and all of the main characters had some good character development throughout the course of the novel. The novel covered a large span of time, but it didn't feel rushed or unbelieveable, as the characters matured as the book progressed.What I liked most about the book was that the author left everything Anne had done very ambiguous, you could make your mind up as to how far she had gone in order to get what she wanted. There were no moral judgements either, and you could sympathise very much with Anne near the end of the book, even though she was horrible and quite unlikeable. There was no black and white, it was all shades of grey. I liked how the author managed to pull off writing from the perspective of Mary, but also giving us a deeper insight into Mary than she herself had - she wasn't as good as she thought she was.Some of the minor characters were less well written - Mary's second husband was too perfect and understanding, with very modern viewpoints, and Uncle Howard only had one personality trait - evil. However, the pace and plot made up for this, and it was one of those books where time just flew as I was reading it. Recommeded.