A heartbroken man turns to religion after seeing a vision in the sky above Central Park while his musician brother takes drugs he thinks will help him compose a ballad for his seriously ill wife. This novel begins with a vision. It's November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is inspired to look up at the sky; there he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Barrett doesn't believe in visions, or in God, but he can't deny what he's seen. At the same time, in the not-quite-gentrified Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Tyler, Barrett's older brother, a struggling musician, is trying and failing to write a wedding song for Beth, his wife-to-be, who is seriously ill. Tyler is determined to write a song that will be not merely a sentimental ballad but an enduring expression of love. Barrett, haunted by the light, turns unexpectedly to religion. Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers. Beth tries to face mortality with as much courage as she can summon. The author follows the Meeks brothers as each travels down a different path in his search for transcendence. He demonstrates a profound empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of what lies at the core of the human soul.
New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2014.
258 pages ;,22 cm