The following is simply my opinion: I remember Oprah saying on her show once that she was no longer going to waste time on a book that she wasn't enjoying reading...I should have taken her advise. I should have put this book down by about chapter 5 - but no - I just had to keep reading it until the end. I don't know whether it was because I spent $10 on it or whether it was plain curiosity of if it would get better. It's not that it was a bad story, because it wasn't. I liked the 'story', but there was too much description and parts that I didn't think were valid to the story which made for a very slow read. (OK, there was a river...I get it...how can you go on and on about what the water was like...and why would Lily want to lick Rosaleen's shoulder...what did that have to do with anything?!!) So then I thought I should rent the movie off Max Front Row...after all...sometimes the movies are so much better then the book...(?!?)...what - was - I - thinking....! It was just barely better then the book, moving along at a slightly quicker pace, skipping parts and changing things so that the ending was a bit different...but not any better. Don't get me wrong - I had a few tears in my eyes at certain parts - but then again - I cry really easily. What kept me watching was, not just the $5.95 I spent renting it, but the fact that I was really enjoying all the actors in it. I love Queen Latifah. And the other ladies were fabulous in it too as were the men. All in all, it was the acting that made it worth the while of watching it, but I would be tempted to wait until it came on TV for free! Again - just my opinion!