While reading this, I was unsure of where Oates was going with it, normally the books I have read so far have been shocking. This was so far different from what I was expecting and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. The story follows Clara through her desolate poor life while she works herself up to wealthy rich. The changes she goes through during this time are astonishing and I believe to be quite accurate for someone moving up the class system. Oates tells us through this book how unimportant money can be and how happiness is found elsewhere. Where? That is something she does not divulge but it certainly has nothing to do with money. Again, her characters are rich and involved, Oates has a way of getting within the soul of a person/character and breathing life into them. I can't wait to continue on the road of this Wonderland Quartet and see what else she can teach me.