This book is giving my complacent understanding some serious knocks. I've never read anything like it. My thoughts and reactions are not nearly formed enough to give voice to with any coherence, I am afraid, but I will definitely have more to say about this.
For the nonce, I will content myself with saying thank you to the women here who have introduced me to this book, and given me the opportunity of a community with which to discuss it. Melanie, Caitlin, Paula - everyone else whom I do not know so well - thank you.