Set in November 2004, one the main character of the novel Barrett Meeks have lost love once again. Walking through Central Park this day he looks up in the sky where 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.
The other main character, Tyler, Barrett’s brother, is trying to write a song to his soon-to-be-wife Beth who is seriously ill.
We follow the brothers as they search for transcendence, Barrett by turning to religion and Tyler who is convinced only drugs can help him. In subtle, lucid prose, he demonstrates a profound empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of what lies at the core of the human soul.
This is a novel that is both beautiful and heartbreaking, comic and tragic, all at the same time.