What was interesting about this novel is that it is told from the point of view of a person being sucked into a cultish family. You experience Noriko's suspicions about her husband and her family as well as witness their tactics of breaking her. What I thought was the beauty and frightening aspects of the story were the interactions between Noriko and her best friend, Tomomi. For a moment, you get really annoyed with Tomomi along side Noriko until you realize that this is a friend trying to help another that is being sucked to a cult -- the outsider trying to talk you out of that cult.
I have to agree with the ick scene everyone keeps mentioning. Fortunately, it didn't last long but it shows how far gone Noriko is and the others. This is probably, the only reason I would warn off someone from this book if they can't handle it. But if you can turn on the mental screen saver and get past this small part, you do get to see the process of someone being broken into a cult. I'm not sure how much stock to put into it as I know nothing of cult psychology but definitely an interesting perspective and read.