TheReverend Sarah Obadias is broken, bitter, and stripped of the reassurance offaith when she walks into a West Village restaurant in Manhattan. Here sheencounters Abraham Darby, a rumpled but well-regarded painter who seduces theminister into his life of excess and emotional intensity. “I’ve run away frommy 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.
Dancingthrough the novel is the mystical Yago, the gay son of Darby and the CostaRican painter Alejandra Morales Díaz. But Alejandra’s appearance furtherdiscomposes Sarah, and Yago provides no calm or clarity when she encountershim: “Somehow he has transported her to an unfamiliar state of mindlesseroticism. Finally she draws closer to Yago, intending to caress him in somehorrible mix of mothering and lust.”
Bloodlinesbecome squiggled and unreliable as the novel explores the ever-changingrelationship between fathers and sons and what constitutes a family. Throughout,one question lingers: What really did happen when a small boy was swallowed bythe sea?
Laced with humor anda linguistic vibrancy, this tale of converging fates becomes a contemplation offaith, faithfulness, and the sticky, often unpleasant and frightening nature ofspiritual and emotional growth.