Gowdy has quite an imagination. This is the most dysfunctional family I've read about (right up there with "Fall on Your Knees"). There is homosexuality, promiscuity, lies, secrets, and the silent Joan, who is the youngest daughter, thought to be brain damaged but extremely intelligent, and aware of her families betrayals in her own way.
I am still trying to decide if I liked this book. The characters were interesting and they did draw my interest. But the story is way out there...certainly not a mainstream read. Gowdy's style confused me a bit at first by changing timelines often, and once that settled down I could follow the plot much easier.
An interesting and somewhat shocking read...not sure that I would recommend it to others.