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When Dee realizes her introverted personality has isolated her from society, she rejectes becoming a cat lady and makes a conscious decision to reintegrate into the outside world. Though her relationships begin as a forced exercise in extroversion, Dee proves a plucky companion and adversary for a cast of memorable characters. Their candid behavior and the narrator's pithy commentary hilariously reveal the complexity of even the most mundane interactions. A sympathetic heroine expresses uncanny dialog while meeting absurd circumstances and a deranged, twist-style ending. Light-hearted delivery, down-to-earth sensibility, and the narrator's infectious morbid curiosity make The Period of Usefulness a finely-crafted, yet unpretentious, tale worth reading at least twice.