She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb is a suspenseful novel about an extraordinary girl named Dolores Price, who grew up facing many tragedies and tribulations. The book follows her life from the age of four to forty and shows how she grows and matures as she becomes older. Right from the beginning years of her life, Dolores finds difficulty in trying to understand love, lust, and betrayal. Her father leaves the family for another woman, her mother, an emotionally fragile woman, battles mental illness after the miscarriage of her second child, and her grandma, strong and proud, tries to enforce her conventional beliefs on her family. On top of that, at only 13, Dolores forms a friendship with her older, handsome neighbor, Jack Speight, who ultimately changes the coarse of her life by raping her.
The tragic events of the first part of Dolores life set a sort of domino effect, which lead her to more tragedy and unhappiness. Obesity, sexual ambiguity, and madness follow her rape. She tries to numb herself through junk food and soap operas, which causes Dolores to become an obese, isolated young woman. After the death of her mother in a car accident, Dolores is convinced that it is her fault and as a result decides to enroll in college in memory of her mother. However, at the Pennsylvania college she attends, she attempts suicide during her first semester and enters a marriage with Dante, an English teacher, who ultimately cheats on her with one of his students. The people she meets and the situations she's put in eventually pushes her over the deep end. She ends up being put in a mental institution for the next seven years, which helps her to finally get a grip on her life. .
Though this continuous misfortune can be depressing it also makes the novel more interesting. The vividness of the characters and the depth that Lamb gives Delores makes his characters seem so real. He also successfully displays his main character's isolation and low self-esteem, but at the same time tries to keep some humor as comic relief to all the tragedy the book illustrates.