The story is quite intriguing and thought-provoking.
The plot is not so much about what happens when there is a mix-up with two babies and they end up in the wrong family, but about how this episode can affect Alison. Sometimes you feel angry with her; she is quite aloof with Olivia as if she didn’t count, and she can be quite overbearing with Katherine However, most of the time you have to feel sorry for her. It is crystal clear why Alison is the way it is. Most of what has made her the person she is comes from her mother. When Alison goes to tell her about the mishap with Katherine and Olivia, the woman is really hateful and callous. No wonder Alison thinks so little of herself, and she believes that it is only a question of time that Katherine leaves her for her birth family. I have the hunch that she hasn’t even tried to approach Olivia because after the first sign of hostility, she feels Olivia can’t accept her and she has given up without trying, because she feels incapable of inspiring what the Trubys have clearly have done with Katherine. The way she was raised clearly has been detrimental for her self-esteem, and now she is being tested as she has never been before. I am also curious about her pregnancy when she was a teenager. What happened to the baby? Her mother mentions in a cruel way that when she had her daughter, she already had experience. Did Alison give the baby away, or did she lose it? I imagine that if she had another child, she would wonder about him/her at some point, but so far we have not seen any of that.
Apart from that, the person she now feels understands her is Tom. There is something going on between them, and Alison begrudgingly admits that she might be attracted to him. Even Jeff has noticed that she likes Tom. I don’t think Alison will complicate matters by having an affair, or maybe I am wrong there. I think Alison feels too lonely right now. Jeff seems unable to understand her, and Katherine is quite cold towards her after meeting her siblings. So it is no wonder that she might feel welcome when someone like Tom is kind to her. Something we didn’t know is that Alison and Jeff are not married; apparently, he never asked her since at the time Alison was all about free love and against the institution of marriage. It is clear that deep down she would have liked Jeff to ask her, but it is obvious that Jeff has many problems understanding his ‘wife’.
I am curious to know where the novel will take us. I want Alison to be able to grow as a person and shake off all her insecurities. It is high time someone told her that she is lovable and people can really love her. Alison is a good person, but it seems that despite everything that she has done for her family, her efforts have never been appreciated, and she has always been made to feel that she has achieved nothing in life.