Take the disturbing tale of Lolita, add in the spiritual soul-searching of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, the horror of The Exorcist, as well as gorgeous prose, and you have this book. A man abandons his lover for another woman, who is struck by a lightning bolt and killed. His scorned lover, who used to communicate to him by way of leaving notes in paper folded into the shape of birds and left in a nearby tree, leaves "a storm" of paper birds, all written with the ominous message "That lightening bolt was mine."A holy man, tortured by his love and desire for a young girl thought to be possessed, seeks solace with a notorious atheist. "Do not torture yourself in vain...perhaps you have come only because you needed to talk about her," the nonbeliever soothes, to which the priest replies, "I could talk to you without stopping until the next century."When the priest begans to meet with the girl in secret, he confesses his love to her. He takes her hand and places it over his heart, and "she felt the internal clamor of his suffering." He tells her "I am always in this state."She pushes him, daring to do strange things to prove his love, the way a child naturally would. He is a slave to her and his own lack of faith. There are no happy endings.The recognition of obsession, as well as the pitfalls of denying it and embracing it, come to life in this small gem of a novel.