After finishing House of Sand and Fog, I read some reviews on Kindle. Most gave four or five stars but scattered among those were a few one and two stars with comments such as 'the sale of the house could have been prevented, the premise just wasn't plausible and landscape description was wrong.'
The House was the center, the subject and even in the title of the book. The two main characters, an Iranian military colonel under the Shah who brought his family to America after the fall of the Shah otherwise they would be excuted; and a recovering addict (Kathy) whose husband left her. The third main character is a married deputy sheriff who falls in love with Kathy. The characters seem to circle the house as the center of their universe loosing sight (or never knowing) what is really important in their life. Eventually they end in the perfect storm. Their storm is due, in part, to "their tragic inability to understand one another" as stated on the back cover. The lack of cultural differences simply makes the lack of understanding even deeper and more profound.
The book is written in the first person by some main characters and although it skips back and fourth, it was not confusing to me at all. Written in the first person gave me a clear picture of what the character was mentally going through. Metaphors weave throughout the book and I found Dubus' writing very skillful.
A book to read when it's bright and sunny because it's not uplifting at all but nevertheless, it is very, very good.
I stand with the five stars on this engrossing book and look forward to reading Dubus' memoir which came out earlier this year.