Christmas week, 1980. Peter Renke and his older brother Edmund commence a death trip. They are driving from New Jersey to Alleghany Falls, Virginia. There, they are to preside over the funeral of their estranged father. But, for Peter, this trip is no simple excursion. He harbors deep cynicism toward life...and a self-destructive attachment to both Gibley's gin and denial. As the trip...and the story...unfold, Peter finds himself reliving, and ultimately confronting, his past and the "curses" that he labors under. Yes, Peter is haunted by past loves and past deaths. Yet, almost from the moment he gets to Alleghany Falls, life begins to change in ways that surprise and frighten him. He falls in with Harvey Barnes, an atheist reverend, who dispenses wisdom and reality with charm. He becomes attached to Mea Ricci, a lawyer and empath, who both evokes his past and presages his future. Peter Renke's unintended journey takes him through a sort of personal Hell. But always moves him toward the ultimate acceptance of his better angels.