I was hoping this would be a four-star book. Lots to like about it. The view of plantation life from the perspective of the owner's wife is different and fascinating. I actually enjoyed the generally nasty attitude of the main character (hey, she has lots to be unhappy about). The story definitely kept my interest, but somehow I was expecting more at the end. More drama, more emotion, more of a clash, maybe even a bit more revelation about "property" and slavery on the part of the protagonist. Which would probably have been less realistic than Martin's ending, but maybe more emotionally satisfying for the reader. I'd say it's really more of a 3 and a half star and I would like to read more by Martin.