After reading this for the 2nd times, I was forced to downgrade this to 4 stars. So many times how we judge a book is based on so many factors: the author's writing style, the story, and even what is going on in our own lives at the time we read it. I believe the first time that I read this I felt a strong kindred for Mary. I was just coming out of a strict religious group, and I saw my experiences mirrored in her dealings with the Sisterhood, and feelings of confinement. However, in the past 3 years I have come to terms with my experiences and have moved past them, and as such did not find the book quite as powerful as I did the first time, though it is still an enjoyable read.