The author employs conversational, American English for most of the novel. The vocabulary suits young adult readers and up, though many of the terms hold more meaning for more mature readers, Julia herself being middle-aged.
Some colloquism appears, as Julia refers to terms in a southern vernacular. Her regional dialect may seem awkward, but it is rarely hard to decipher. Lillian's character, though, speaks in a broken, accented English common in the South. The author spells much of Lillian's speech nearly phonetically. This emphasizes the class difference between Julia and Lillian, thus establishing one theme of the novel.