"Sunburn" is an ambitious literary tome set in the early 1970s.
The major characters (Douglas, Lea, and Sean) are bored hard-drinking middle-aged expatriate American living in Spain, variously damaged: by an abortion, by war experiences, by a lost hand, by the death of a child, by the death of a spouse, etc. In short, "Americans playing Hemingway", as one of the characters describes them.
Specifically, Douglas, husband of Lea, is the principal narrator. They are on an extended vacation in the home of Lea's brother Sean and his girlfriend Kira (ca 25). Other characters are Michael (ca 25) and Tony, both bartenders. Douglas and Sean are unsuccessful wantabe writers. That's the setup.
Subsequently, inevitably, in a drunken stupor Sean commits suicide incorrectly suspecting that Kira is sleeping with Tony, while it is actually Lea and Michael who are having an affair. The death of Sean and the affair split Douglas and Lea, and they go their separate ways, mostly unchanged for the better or the worse. Sort of a "live goes on" motif.
I happen to be a writer, formerly an American expatriate who lived in Europe in the early 1970s, and variously damaged by life. Indeed, during that period,an unfaithful wife ruined my first marriage. Hypothetically, I could be a character in the novel. However, the novel just doesn't ring true to me.
I don't mean that I haven't known such people. I have. But those I've known were phonies---they did not "ring true" either. The world is full of empty people playing roles, who have no "self". But I don't think they are worthy of sympathy, nor are the disasters they bring upon themselves instructive in any way.
Although I am sure that it wasn't LesCroart's intention, the only convincing "message" that I get out of the book is that, "Idleness is the Devil's workshop". Younger readers---yet to experience real life first-hand--- might get more out if it.
The unnecessary pretentious changes of "person" and tense are rarely effective. First, second, and third persons, combined with just about every tense in the English language are used at various points. Nor is the first person restricted to one character. Several characters speak to the reader in first person. Most annoying is when the "omniscient-third-person narrator" doesn't bother to identify the main characters, but just refers to them by gender--in effect becoming a "ignorant third-person narrator". The novel is just too "busy" with literary devices.
LesCroart wrote the novel as a young man, and the characters are appropriately shallow, self-absorbed, and immature. Even so, it was a fine, even extraordinary, first effort by a young (when written) author. With that in mind, i.e., not expecting profound revelations about the meaning of life, it is an enjoyable novel.