I just loved this book. Laguna is so good at immersing the reader in the world of her characters, and I just adored Justine. Her childhood was so evocative of my own in lots of ways, the language, the games, everything. I recall the wonder I felt in the houses of friends who appeared to have more than my family and the paralysing shyness I often felt. Justine is a lovely character who sees more and understands more than everyone gives her credit for. Unfortunately an understanding of the casually violent world of adults alludes her for much of the story. But she does come right in the end. Laguna's story of a deprived and socially dysfunctional family seen through the eyes of a little girl with a learning disability is just beautiful. While the ending might be a bit unrealistic in some respects, it was nonetheless a wonderful relief after all that Justine had gone through before.