My response is similar to that of the reader who thought the book had potential BUT... After initial enthusiasm for the novel, I frankly became quite bored with it. Told in two voices (which aren't always particularly distinct--hence the use of two different fonts), the book has an initially inviting conversational tone. However, as everyone knows, transcripts of conversations can be rather dull and repetitive--and that's what the book often feels like: a transcript which needed a good "editing out" of extraneous detail. For example, I got really tired of one of the characters repeatedly saying "back to the story". (This is my point: there are so many digressions, that the story--whatever it is--sort of gets lost.) I felt the author did not give enough attention to the structure of the narrative. The story is "all over the place", and the narrative doesn't unfold in carefully thought-out way. Information is revealed in a random and haphazard manner. These factors made me completely lose interest halfway through. I pushed myself along, hoping things would improve. At two-thirds of the way, I just gave up. While I quite agree that this is an interesting topic--one that makes one ponder--the novel's clumsiness--its lack of artistry--was distracting to me. Hence, I was not able to enter Rose and Ruby's world. In the end, I was quite disappointed with The Girls. Obviously, lots of people are enthusiastic about Lansen's novel and I respect that and the author's obvious sincerity in bringing different lives to the page. If you, the reader, aren't irked by stylistic and structural weaknesses, the book may interest you.