This is the author's sixth novel. The author was the winner of the 1993 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The novel is about the Boudreaux family: the father, a Vietnam veteran, is sentenced to two years of hard labor for stealing; a mother copes with life at this time with a son and daughter; the son, Thomas, soft-voiced, obsessively attempts to understand the unraveling of the family. The novel is devoted to the PROCESS of perception. Wendy Lesser, in USA Today, says this novel succeeds miraculously: "A testament to his [Bausch's] extraordinarily sympathetic powers of narrative."