Thank you very much for your comments, Kelly. Yes, dialogue is a good way of introducing background, without acres of introductory narrative or prologues. I don't believe in prologues.
No, it isn't a murder mystery although there will be a mystery about two-thirds of the way through. You are right about the book's being much more about the struggle for Kelly to regain her independence. I don't want to give too much detail at this stage but there is certainly no "Mr Right" element.
I think I do have to point the way a bit more clearly for the reader, without giving too much away and you've helped to make this clear.