The book is about the maturation of faith. Dawson goes through all the modern cultural angst, we see and live in. His desire was to serve mankind. He thought the church was the answer. But alas, the church is made up of human beings. He thought human love was the answer. But his love dumped him for another. He thought marriage and family was the answer, but these proved false.
He thought a career in journalism would serve mankind. But he couldn't write what he wanted. His editors and readers only wanted him to trash the church. A priest "bad mouthing" the church was the hook. No wonder he wallowed in self pity. In order to make a living, he had to welch on the mother who educated, fed, and housed him. He wouldn't be the man he was, if it were not for the church. But he had lost his faith, so what did he care?
So he thought.
And this is what I found missing in the novel. All through the novel Dawson pontificates on the reasons why there couldn't possibly be a God. So why does he turn around?