Lorca, Victoria and Blot, three damaged people, populate this novel that touches on Iraq, cutting and drug addiction leavened by lies, secrets and poor parenting. Ultimately hopeful, the book drags a bit after many chapters of discouraged, depressed people. I was happy to see the end. The three main characters, Lorca’s mother and Victoria’s “best friend” Dottie are all clearly drawn. Each is likeable except for Lorca’s mother who is clearly the villain. Joseph, the only other character, is not so well developed and plays an important, though minor, role. Cutting and food are also main characters. I learned much about the whys of cutting, coming away with a very sympathetic and empathetic view of those who suffer from this scary disease. Food offers the much needed lightness. Iraqi dishes are presented and prepared by Lorca and Victoria. One recipe is given. I would have liked to have others – the descriptions had my mouth watering! Because I feel the book is too long, only 3 of 5 stars.