Leonard is characterized by his actions and thoughts. The story is told in the third person from his point of view. From the beginning, the reader understands Leonard as a desperate man, one who is searching for something he probably will not find. Although Leonard is not a saint—he is drunk when he arrives in Provincetown and wrecks his car—he is a spiritual innocent. He has lost his faith, yet he still believes that he can redeem himself and find forgiveness for his actions. Like Dorothy in the film The Wizard of Oz (1939), he has come from Kansas to a place seeking what he cannot find in himself; as in Oz, everything that is mundane and normal for Provincetown takes on a sinister meaning for Leonard. Leonard’s greatest weakness and strength, as pointed out by a reader of auras, is his ability to empathize with others. His ability becomes a problem only when he starts to empathize with imaginary situations.
Leanna Sousa, one of Leonard’s objects of redemption, is a local woman descended from Portuguese immigrants who settled the area. She runs a hotel, and while she initially tells Leonard that she is a lesbian, once Marla leaves town, she is quick to sleep with Leonard. As presented, this switch is not very convincing; Leanna is reduced to another element of Leonard’s confusion. Leanna’s bisexuality and the apparent ease with which she accommodates both Leonard and Marla in her life are unexplained; Leonard is unable to pin her...
(The entire section is 487 words.)