If you have seen the film Desert Hearts, on which the book is based, and have it mind to read the book, know that there are quite a few differences. Where Roger Ebert took points off on the movie for its simplicity, the book offers a more complex character study of Evelyn Hall (called Vivian in the film). It's been years since I saw film and I remember the basic plot, the core is which stays true to the book. Evelyn comes to Reno in the 1950s for a brief residency in order to satisfy requirements for a quick divorce. Her existence there is quiet and frustrating due to limited sources for intellectual stimulation. She maintains cordial relationships with her landlady and his son, but finds something deeper with Ann Childs, a young woman of means who works at the local casino, ostensibly for something to do.The concept of time is a major theme in this story - Evelyn as a temporary resident, the time running out for her unsuccessful marriage, and Ann's tendency to cut romantic relationships short. While the movie implies their romance progressed with some reluctance on Evelyn's part, the book shows woman better equipped to handle their feelings for the other. The literary style of the narrative gives great depth to the people in this story, and Rule creates a vivid and timeless sense of place. Many people here have remarked that they couldn't believe this book was originally written in 1964. Nearly fifty years later, the story remains fresh.