I think part of the fascination of this. Book is due to our pruirience of others lives. We are engaged precisely because we find a mirror in the repugnance we feel on hearing of the ways in which they think and act. Our aspirations and their existence may slightly merge and it is no small concern that we might find ourselves agreeing with their viewpoint but at the same time feeling outrage.
The eight serve as a metaphor for the mediocrity of a life lived solely in pursuit of an affirmation in the values of a society which is entirely self centred. This is uncomfortable for anyone who has ever tried to succeed and swim against the tide of life.
Seemingly perfect lives can hide all sorts behind closed doors
You really feel that you ought to hate these people and their way of life. They are remote from you and I, but Lawson weaves a tale which has a more fundamental human story and allows you to feel their losses.
The characters in this tale have all list and are grieving their losses in one way or another. Thus their story is one which is echoed by our own. At the very heart it shows that all human story is equivalent and experience is universal, no matter your perceived status. This is most sharply noted during the passages which take a viewpoint from outside the core characters lives. This commonality of human existence is acutely observed.
The book features themes of: Ill health, job security, financial concern, infidelity, sex, gluttony, avarice, deceit, and jealousy among many others.
The story? That’s purely incidental is it not? There is a brutal set of murders very early in the book and the remainder of the book you look back at the events leading up to this event. It’s tricky and unusual because in this case you do not know ‘who’ or even ‘why’ until you are very close to the end.