Andy, who is on his deathbed,

rehashes his youth, loves, lusts, and betrayals with his wife, [Bel], while simultaneously his two sons [Fred and Jake] – clinical, conspiratorial, the bloodless, intellectual offspring of a hearty anti-intellectual – sit in the shadows, speaking enigmatically and cyclically, stepping around and around the fact of their estrangement from their father, rationalizing their love-hate relations with him and the distance that they are unable to close even when their mother attempts to call them home. In counterpoint to their uncomprehending isolation between the extremes of the death before life and the death after is their younger sister, Bridget, who lightly bridges the gaps between youth and age, death and life. (Back cover of the Grove Press ed.)

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