Too much self-pity, too much self-reflection, too much selfishness, too much of everything except good storytelling and well-defined characters. Some of the book was just strange--like the belief that the mother-in-law is a Nazi and the dream sequence showing the mother-in-law in the past collaborating with Nazis. It was only a dream, but it took many pages and had no purpose, that I could see, in the book.
It was also strange that she supposedly loved her daughter and sacrificed for her daughter, yet she is seldom around when her daughter needs her. In fact, she spends the day before her daughter's wedding confessing an affair to her husband so that they can appear "normal" at the wedding. Of course, they could have appeared more "normal" if she had simply waited one day to tell him.
Her daughter, meanwhile, seems to be a whiny brat who underwent some devastating times, recovered, and now thinks the world owes her. Case in point--she tries very hard to get pregnant, then decides makes decision that suggest she is very, very self-absorbed and unfeeling. And her husband appears to be such a wimp that his reaction to her affair would be comical if it were not so disturbing.
The first part of this book was fine. I was actually enjoying it--a professor has an affair and feels guilt. But then it turned into a pity party for the professor, who does not seem to grasp the idea that she decided her future.