A solitary man has an emotional and sexual awakening when an unlikely couple arrives in his small Louisiana town.
Boz Matthews, the narrator, is a man in his mid-30s who remains troubled by childhood memories of his violent father and suicidal mother. As the story begins, he's working for his beloved grandfather at the local diner. Things change with the arrival of Catty Mills, a country singer best known for one late-1980s hit, and her companion, Kyle. Boz finds himself attracted to both of them in different ways, and a fourth point on this love quadrangle appears in the form of Meg, an old friend of Boz’s with a long history of depression. The novel opens with a haunting portrait of solitude and depression: the bond between Boz and his grandfather is neatly established with a few key gestures and is gradually expanded throughout the book. Hyatt is deft with parceling out information, whether it’s Boz’s attraction to La Dolce Vita–era Marcello Mastroianni or the fact that, at one point, he had enjoyed writing. And for all that the novel tells a deceptively simple story—that of Boz finding his place in the world—it never stints on the emotional complexity of the characters at its center. Each of them is, in his or her own way, damaged, and while the bond that develops among the quartet has the ability to heal, it also possesses the ability to hurt in equal measure. There are hard-earned moments of emotional triumph to be found here, but there are also gut-wrenchingly sad ones.
Hyatt’s novel brings together the grittily realistic with the transcendent, and the result is a beguiling character study.