WONDERFUL, dismal story of one family's downward spiral during the 1980s in the dusty, dreary outskirts of LA. The first half of the book is a broken American Dream, teenagers and parents all angsty and desperate ~ but it's the horrific plot twist that drives the second half of the story into utter bleakness. But the bleakness isn't empty - there's a heart beating in every character and you know it.
The writing is a fantastic observation of the dreamy details that make up real life. The final, crazy plot twist towards the end really spirals everything into madness and yet plot-wise, makes perfect sense. The major plot lines, of course, all turn out to be metaphors for the lives of these characters, which is simply great writing.
I don't want to give away any of the story, though! But if you're looking for an absorbing novel with a stark but heart-wrenching view of the world and are good with a melancholy vibe, this one may be it. I loved it!
I listened to the audiobook and there were times I literally couldn't stop listening - sitting in the garage or parking lot, unwilling to turn it off. Thanks very much to Aeron for reviewing it earlier or I'm not sure I would have known about it!