The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
A study in life. A painting in words. A moving, subtly dramatic piece that dissects human nature and human life, splaying it on the table for us to see--and shudder at. I think anyone beyond high school will find a character to relate to, whether you are gay, straight, single, married, working a job you enjoy, working a job you hate, working a job you're good at, in love, in lust, just friends, hoping, dreaming, desperate, depressed, in the closet, out of the closet or just plain searching.
Very little dramatic action leaves this a rather slow read, but if you go in expecting a steadily plodding story, you won't be disappointed. The lack of high-action isn't a necessarily a bad thing, although it didn't rush me through the book either. Instead it's a loaf of bread, needing time to rise and be kneaded, then rise again. Patience pays off with something delicious, even if it isn't a burst of amazing flavors. It is substance.
The ending is satisfactory--you can't really expect much else from a story so gritty in its realism. Life may not be amazingly happy, but it's working on getting better, and I guess that's all you can hope for sometimes.