I enjoyed this well-written, darkly humorous and literary novel. I mean "humorous" in the tragic way, not that it is funny, though there are many moments of wit. It is humorous in its brief, matter of fact summations of events both horrific and merely sad, in its choices of focus, in its language, and in its sentiments. It includes both shaggy dog stories and stories told by shaggy dogs. Some reviewers have called it Christian allegory, which is certainly there (in a raw, messy, non-sanitized way), but it is at its center an animist tale of love, loss, and beauty. Some passages remind me of Annie Dillard's ecstatic nature writing, not in tone or structure but in their dizzying and sudden revelations of worlds that constellate with the world that appeared to be the focus of the narrative. Thus, the discourse shifts from the thoughts of a girl to a narration describing rocks, or to the voice of a beaver, or the telling of a character's secret. These secrets, hopes, and vulnerabilities not just of people but of animals and landscapes, are the true "thin places" of this novel, points of congruence and divergence not just between humans but all of the world's constituents.My only complaint about the book is not about the book, but the cover. The cover image is misleading and creates an inaccurate expectation about the book's genre. Take out the man in the funny hat, change the baby for a cat, and the wedding dress for something semi-formal from the LL Bean catalogue for a much better depiction of the novel.