Follow a year in the small town of Trinity where the tragedy and humility of a few reveal the reality of people’s motivations and desires. A story without veneer for readers who prefer reality to sanitized fiction, this book is unsentimental, and yet grace-filled. The characters here are complex and intriguing: the suicidal painter, Margie, who has been teaching her evangelical neighbor, Etta, how to paint nudes; her husband, the town therapist, who suspects his work helps no one; and their college-aged daughter, Noel, whose roommate, Pixie, joins them at home for a winter holiday, only to fall into Trinity’s freezing river.

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