A great read is Train by Pete Dexter from 2003. It is a novel set in California with two main characters, Lionel “Train” Walk and Miller Packard. It is a story about race and golf, sex and murder, work and play, love and hatred, dogs and flamingos. Supporting the main two is a host of memorable personalities. There is a character called “Plural” and another called “Sweet” and a woman photographic artist called “susan” with no capital “S” and no last name. And then there is Nora and much of the story turns around her. This is an American story that deals with a lot of elements: trust, talent, potential, betrayal but mostly it deals with how to hope, how to discover its limits and its cracks. How to see them, how to ignore them. Dexter is a phenomenally gifted writer. To be sure, read this book or The Paper Boy, Deadwood, or Paris Trout.