In addition to several strands of social commentary, blighted love is a theme of the novel. Keith Salazar and his ex-wife Kara spend most of the book doing a kind of love dance, with Keith continually making advances and Kara avoiding them. This theme is deepened by Keith's history of cruel and selfish behavior. His earnest efforts to woo Kara generate ambivalence; it is hard to root for his success because she is probably better off without him. Yet one cannot shake the feeling that he is trying to make up somehow for his past behavior, even though he continues to repeat the same selfish pattern. The love dance is therefore filled with unresolved tension and conflicting emotions.