What follows is Martin's search, both in the past and in the present, to make sense of what has happened. McFarland beautifully describes Martin's memories of his unconventional childhood, fragments that slowly fit together to reveal some of the reasons for the difficulties he and his brother faced as adults. In his search for answers in New York, Martin becomes involved with his late brother's girlfriend as they both look for understanding of Perry's loss in each other.
The two brothers and their father are all musicians, and McFarland's writing often seems to have a musical quality, not just because of the beauty of his prose, but also because of the layered non-linear way that past, present and even Martin's dreams are woven together. Although it may sound relentlessly dark, there are moments of humor and an ending that offers a sort of redemption.