I took this book to be about nothing in particular. This was a novel of human behavior. We saw how people reacted to what another person said or did, whether that person was a stranger or a familiar face. We saw how people reacted when someone who has always been there is now gone and they must tread the world on their own. We saw how differently the same person reacted as a child to when they're an adult.
I connected the most with Lily and seemed to follow her around more so than the others. Lily is a creative soul, who loves to paint, but is often hounded by Charles Tansey who is constantly telling her that women can neither paint nor write. So, I immediately took a dislike to him. At the end of the book, Lily seemed to come to grips with everything in her life that she had been hanging on to, things that had been keeping her down. She finished a painting, that she started years ago, but more than that, she finally came to terms with who she was.