Totally original in conception and execution, Forty Rooms is mysterious, withholding, and, ultimately, emotionally devastating. Grushin is dealing with issues of women's identity, of women's choices, in a way no modern novel has explored so deeply. When our protagonist finds her children grown and her husband absent, she must evaluate the choices that led her away from her bohemian poet dream and into a comfortable marriage. Was it a life well lived? A life complete? Does such a life really exist? This ambiguity is the core of this provocative novel.