A compelling story filled with desire, secrecy, deception, abuse, suicide, infidelity, love, commitment and abandonment. JT, dying from an incurable disease, welcomes the release from pain and suffering which death promises. On the other hand, he dreads facing God and having to answer for his life. Thus, he struggles before his death to come to terms with his life. JT believes that he has been instructed by God to go out and confess his life to the first stranger he meets. Fortuitously, the first stranger he meets at the park in Sharbot Lake that first afternoon is Father Bob who is also struggling with his faith and his sacred vow. In this novel JT spends three days recounting the years of his life from 1939 to 1957.
This stunning, and in many ways tragic, novel is set in rural Ontario, Canada in September of 2000. In an effort to come to terms with his sins, gain absolution for those sins and then, upon death, be prepared to enter the gates of heaven to be reunited with his precious wife Mary, JT bares his soul to Father Bob.
This story elegantly weaves together these and other lives as we are provided a portrait of how complex life can become. Things are not cut and dried, black and white, just as they are not in real life. There are times when we feel pity for JT while at other times we despise him. Such is the life of all of us – never neat and tidy but always messy and unpredictable.