*spoilery in only the most general sense*
As cheerful and fluffy as Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Or American Tragedy. Wow. This is one grim ride.
Jacob is like a hot, 17th century Tony Soprano- a sympathetic monster. Ferris is no prize, either- ultimately showing himself to be manipulative and cruel. You have to feel sorry for everyone who comes in contact with them. I read the entire second half in dread.
The characters are complex, the world is gritty and real, and there's some truly beautiful writing here. McCann puts us in Jacob's head and then makes us afraid of him, even while we hope that somehow, everything will turn out okay. Brilliant.