This book absolutely blew my mind. As soon as it started I had to reread the line about having her father's child a couple of times just to make sure I understood it correctly. Needless to say, the book got more intense from there.
The thing I thought was interesting was how Clarice seemed to be able to take control of parts of her life even though she was so hopelessly out of control when the story started. It seemed like her way of dealing with people was almost identical to the way her mom would treat people that she didn't like (for example Clarice), with either threats of violence, acting out and not putting up with anything from any other people, or demeaning people in her head where they can't hear her. I feel like talking to herself is probably one of the first ways she learned how to defend herself from the ritualistic savagery she was dealing with at home.
The way the book is written, oddly enough, is one of the reasons why I feel like I can truly connect with Clarice. Although the things that have happened to her and her general way of life are so completely the opposite of my own, the characterization of her through the writing style allow me to really put a more humanized outlook on what I read. I get the idea that this is someone to whom life has been nothing but abusive, but at the same time she really doesn't understand it because it is all that she knows.