I rated this book for the beautiful descriptive writing and its careful examination on the nature of faith. As with the boy in the short story "Pigeon Feather", this novel delves into a young man's search for meaning through organized religion. In both the short story and this novel, the young men figure out for themselves the existence of God.
Updike ventures out of his comfort zone with the change of setting from suburbia to a tired and diverse community in New Jersey.The characters are not white Anglo-Saxon frustrated men but Arab immigrants and blacks. I give him a great deal of credit for trying to confront the why of America after 9/11.