By turns lyrical and colloquial, Michael Cunningham's prose gracefully elucidates ways of thinking, specifically the ways of Peter and Rebecca, a long married couple, which are imbedded in the ways of New York intelligentsia in 2010. The novel offers unusual insight into ordinary lives, and suggests that our aesthetic impulses, our need for beauty is universal, damming and redeeming. I love his writing so much, the musicality that is always undercut with casual, almost deprecating language and the way he lets us in on the secrets we keep with ourselves. Within pages Cunningham eludes to Joyce, Woolf, Tolstoy, and Styxx thereby illustrating how art-- both high and popular--illuminates our own lives. Oh, and we're also treated to a detailed description of cunnilingus from Peter's point of view within chapter one! Peter thinks "Does she ever fake it? Better not to know." Yet, we are so grateful to know what these palpably real characters are thinking.