The book looks at how closely a real woman can compare to an ideal. Roxana has not had a very good experience in marriage. Her former husband leaves her and her children abandoned after spending all her money. Out of spite, Roxana becomes the mistress of countless of men who are interesting and promising. From these experiences, she gets to feel what it is like to be in charge, for once in her life. This is also how she concludes that marriage may not be a bad thing, as long as the person you marry is worthy of being with you forever.