Parks explores the nature of goodness and moral faith in this poignant, witty, and disturbing novel. George Crawley, son of a missionary father and a pious mother, strives to escape his past by adopting a yuppie lifestyle in suburban London. He marries his college sweetheart, Shirley, gets a good job, and is superbly happy until Shirley gives birth to a blind, deformed, mentally retarded daughter. Trapped by his defective genes, George falters in his plans for the good life and is forced into confronting his true self. Parks questions difficult subjects--abortion, euthanasia, adultery, guilt--but his writing is always humorous, and his characters are both funny and bizarre. The novel builds to a spectacular climax that is unexpected as well as unforgettable.-- Stephanie Furtsch, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.