Bohjalian has tried, but he doesn't know from the transsexual experience. This reads a lot the way old lesbian/gay novels did in the 70s and 80s, where the emotional focus (and sometimes the whole plot) was about coming out. While the trans protagonist goes beyond coming out here, the emotion of the story sticks there and can't really move on. This could work okay, but all of the narrators have interchangeable voices, language, and preoccupations. I would sometimes lose track of whose chapter it was.I don't doubt that Bohjalian read work by and talked with trans people. Still, the dialogue rings disturbingly false. I recently described and quoted some of it to a trans friend, who burst out laughing. When I described how much focus all the characters have on the trans character's penis, and that "penis" was the word used, he laughed even more. When I remarked, "When I talk with MTFs, they tend to say--" and we both finished, "--'that thing'!" Read Jennifer Finney Boylan's She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders for a true and much more compelling story.