Really beautiful story -- built around the mythic concepts/characters of maiden, mother, and crone. (Though, I embarrassed to say that it took me a while to figure that out.) I love the compactness of this story -- so much said in such a relatively short novel. Thematically the book covers childhood and growing up -- and the differences between how adults and children see the world -- as well as the nature of fear and faith, memory and the passage of time, perception versus reality, and probably a lot that I'm missing. I love a book that marries myth and fiction and the book does it beautifully. I'd like to sit down and read it again with a copy of Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces at my side, so that I can start to see some of the intricacies of this book that I am sure that I missed.