Growing up in a small town when you are different is not easy. Add a father who seems to be so exacting, a mother who is intent on her thesis and her theater productions, and siblings who are into their own things makes it harder. Alison knows she does not like the feminine clothing her father wants her to wear and their house is, as her mother later calls it, a mausoleum. At times there are moments when she and her father are close, usually around books. Coming out in college, she must now come home for her father's funeral.
This story resonated with me. I could identify with Alison. Though they are a family, there is a disconnect between them. Each person is into their own thing. No one seems to be there for one another. I don't know how this family remained together. There are memories that come out during the book. They may provide clues to the father's lifestyle but, for Alison, there is no more to them than the face value at the time. Later she can see the pattern and realize her father thought she knew about him. There is so many lost opportunities in this family for them to become closer. I felt sorry for them all.