As the story unfolds it soon becomes clear that Lilith is a woman who has lost her sense of self. A talented and highly paid actuary in her former working life, she took a year or two off to raise her kids - but as they enter their teens she is still at home without any real plan to return to work. She has all the things that should make her happy - a nice husband with a great income, a beautiful home and two healthy children. She has the freedom to shop without concern about cost and to take yoga classes. Her home is organised and runs smoothly. Lilith certainly keeps herself busy but there is a yawning chasm inside that is simply not being filled with her life as it is.
I think the other thing lacking in this story is a sense of direction and ultimately resolution, be it positive or negative. From my own life experience I firmly believe that you can only lose yourself if you don't know who you are to begin with. The up side of being "on the shelf" for many years was having the time and space to undertake that journey of self discovery and "find" myself before having to blend my life with another person. I think this book had the potential to send Lilith down such a path but it just never got there.
The writing itself of The Unknown Woman is of a high standard and the dialogue and sense of time and place was spot on. I didn't find it overly difficult to keep turning the pages and would have rated it higher if I had felt the story ultimately went somewhere. I just got the the end and felt a bit cheated that it didn't deliver what the blurb promised.