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There was a set-up, the establishing of a premise early on in this lit-fic novel, but it took a bit to connect it to the over-arching theme. It is a good book for those who like character studies.
Told in third person, there is symbolism to be contemplated, internal dialogue to define character and flashbacks that make Joseph the most sympathetic of the four. Nevertheless, in this realistic tale of love and loss, love and ambivalence, angst and anger, death deliberate and accidental, there are no heroes.
A dark character study rife with paradox and indirection.