I liked the way this ended, but I tell you what, I hated Charlie for more than half the book. She's probably the most depressing heroine I've ever had the misfortune to read. I hated her to the point where I even hated her kid. Which isn't totally surprising (to me) because I generally don't like other people's kids (hell, I can barely tolerate my own most of the time). A little past the halfway point, however, she became a little more likable. But the things that really irritated me about Charlie are:
1. Her denial. I try to acknowledge my shortcomings, even if I'm not willing to go out of my way to change them. To do otherwise is a weakness and something I find intolerable. If there's something about yourself you don't like, you meet it head on until it's fixed or you accept it.
2. Her prudishness. There is a whole world of 'lack of confidence' smothering Charlie (and anyone else who slogs through her personal issues for half the book). Get the stick out of your ass and let go!
3. Her sMOTHERING. As a mother, one thing I've always tried to do with my kids is not hold them completely back from reality. Parents nowadays throw such a thick blanket over their children's eyes to hide them from the ugliness of the world. How the hell do you expect your kid to protect themselves if they don't know what to look out for? And not only that, but Charlie holds back from her sister and her daughter so much to try to "protect" them, that she doesn't even know who they are. She's made them into an image she's comfortable with and can't seem to see past it to who they really are. What shitty, fictional relationships she has.
I'm sure I can go on and on in detail about little things here and there that really bothered me, but it's late and I'm tired. I'm just glad Charlie's attitude started shaping up, and I hope it continues to do so throughout the series. I haven't read about the next book, but if she goes back to the original Charlie I started reading, I'm putting the series aside. Reading from her earlier attitude kind of makes me feel like she should do us all a favor and commit suicide (but maybe do it right this time).