This was an excellent book although I did find it very unsettling and upsetting. Several times at the beginning, I actually had to put it down and step away for a while to let my mind settle. It is beautifully written and the story is fantastically told and I believe the crumbling of the family unit is very realistic. What lets it down though is the length.The book is a lot longer than it needs to be and it struggles to maintain the story and emotion effectively. After we finally learn of 'the event' the sense of foreboding (which is almost unbearable up to that point) leaves and while we're left with a fascinating insight into the downfall of a family it is stretched too thin.I'll definitely read more by Joyce Carol Oates though I'm hoping they don't all unsettle me as much as this did!