I found all of the characters utterly believable, and though quite different, each sympathetic in her own way. None of the details about life in Whitfield, Ontario in the years 1934-1938 rang false. Clara is a quiet person, but she is also self-aware, and remarkable because she is unmarried and in her 30s, alone in a small town, exposed to social pressures and yet still striving for a fuller experience. It's impossible to know what we ourselves would have done in those times because we are so shaped by our own times, but I think Wright did an excellent job of presenting us as readers with a character we can relate to in both her strengths and her weaknesses. I highly recommend this book, especially to lovers of Canadian fiction.