The main characters are a nature writer living with his wife and her son in a gated community in Topanga Canyon and an illegal immigrant living with his pregnant wife at the bottom of the canyon itself. There are also coyotes. At times, the story gets pretty dark, but there are lightly comic sections as well, like an excerpt of the nature writer's overwrought prose. I think T.C. Boyle has a real talent for getting inside the heads of his characters, and his writing never feels didactic or overly partisan. Also, it was a refreshing change of pace to read a contemporary novel that wasn't written in and/or about Brooklyn.
(The pregnant wife is named America, which, come on, really? But the coyotes made up for it.)