Reverend Sarah Obadias is broken, bitter, and stripped of the reassurance of
faith when she walks into a West Village restaurant in Manhattan. Here she
encounters Abraham Darby, a rumpled but well-regarded painter who seduces the
minister into his life of excess and emotional intensity. “I’ve run away from
my life,” Sarah tells him. “I know,” Darby replies. “Take mine.” But for Sarah,
each day with the artist will bring a new reality—or lack of it.
through the novel is the mystical Yago, the gay son of Darby and the Costa
Rican painter Alejandra Morales Díaz. But Alejandra’s appearance further
discomposes Sarah, and Yago provides no calm or clarity when she encounters
him: “Somehow he has transported her to an unfamiliar state of mindless
eroticism. Finally she draws closer to Yago, intending to caress him in some
horrible mix of mothering and lust.”
become squiggled and unreliable as the novel explores the ever-changing
relationship between fathers and sons and what constitutes a family. Throughout,
one question lingers: What really did happen when a small boy was swallowed by
Laced with humor and
a linguistic vibrancy, this tale of converging fates becomes a contemplation of
faith, faithfulness, and the sticky, often unpleasant and frightening nature of
spiritual and emotional growth.
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