Was It Beautiful? : In a very short time, William T. Jones has gone from being the self-proclaimed "king of the world, " a man whose life is lived in exclamation points, to being a lost and lonely man. His beloved 27-year-old son, William J., has died in a freak accident; the loss of their only child is more than William T. and Eliza's marriage can bear. William T. finds himself alone in the upstate New York house where he's spent his entire life, with his mute cat Genghis his only company and increasingly sharp stomach pains hinting at what he hopes will be a quick death. But things are not as easy, or as difficult, as they seem. Like it or not, William T. is not alone - from his daughter-in-law Sophie to his lifelong friend Burl to his ex-wife, he is surrounded by loved ones who refuse to let him go so easily. In luminous, haunting prose, Alison McGhee pays loving attention to the details of life in the Adirondacks and to the small kindnesses and idiosyncrasies that make each member of a community precious and unique.