I've enjoyed Highsmith's books and I knew that she was a difficult person. This book portrays her compassionately, but realistically. She wasn't always kind to those around her and she had many anxieties and dark thoughts. If you've read any of her books, you'd guess as much! The 50's were a difficult time to be a lesbian and having to hide her relationships didn't help. The biographer did extensive research, (even going as far as finding out who "Carol," the object of infatuation in The Price of Salt, was based upon) and it shows, although sometimes I found myself skimming over what seemed like excess detail.