Hugo is obnoxious, cynical and bitter with self-loathing, so a thoroughly unpleasant person who has chosen to be a hermit. His choice of suicide to end his life (spoiler alert) is thwarted leading to a not entirely satisfactory ending but the writing is excellent throughout. (You may remember that I recommended another Christensen book last month, The Great Man)
On one level, this is a great book about art in NY. But at its core, this is about relationships – the three women who were intimately involved in the life of a painter who has just died: his sister, wife and long-time lover. The story revolves around the different viewpoints of these three strong women, mostly from when they are old (70s-80s).