I am a Dorothy Gilman fan; the only one of her books I haven't taken to was Incident at Badamya. This one definitely touched me. I thought it was an accurate and insightful portrait of Melissa's (was that her name?) progress towards freedom from depression and a bad childhood. Yes, it was set in the framework of a spy novel, which is fun, but the real story is what happens to her on the inside.
I thought Gilman did an excellent job of conveying how the world seemed like to Melissa at the beginning of her journey and how it seemed to her at the end. Often it seems like people suffering from depression and people who are not are totally unable to communicate, really unable to see the world from the other's perspective however much they try. I especially liked the insight that she couldn't truly love or see other people as they were until she got over herself. Melissa felt like a real individual to me. She wasn't perfect or predictable but she was likable and special.
On the down side, I suppose that if you weren't in the mood for this sort of book, then the continuous introspection and Melissa's initial fear and inability to deal with the world could be a bit tiresome. But if I'm in an introspective mood myself, or if it's a rainy day and I want something to match, this is a lovely book. Quite uplifting.