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A man with an ambivalent life, pulled backward by his former affair away from his wife who is still caught in her own affair. Their affairs seem to be an experiment in the meaninglessness of life.
Marian is the main character's wife who is having an affair with his good friend. Her drug habits and sexual habits constitute her own search for meaning in spite of the meaninglessness of her decisions.
Nick Shay's biological father who left their family with the flimsy excuse of buying a pack of cigarettes, thus spurring Nick's long questioning process about who he really is and who he should become.
The same Klara as the young passionate lover of young Nick Shay, the older, more artistically successful Klara Sax is the hard-hitting, passionate artist whose team of young artists helps her to paint de-commissioned bombers from the US Air Force.
The first husband of Klara Sax and the chess instructor of young Matty Shay, Nick Shay's younger brother.
Sister Alma Edgar
The prospect of the short story about angels on the walls in her borough, the character Sister Alma Edgar is a punchy, no-nonsense Catholic nun whose feminist group helps her to find the little girl who allegedly died as a homeless girl in a car lot of the New York borough.
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