Michael’s death has occurred before the opening of the novel. This is related at intervals in italics. A Spanish child informs Joy that her lover is dead. Tourists gather around the pool. Joy’s own reaction is eventually related: repeated lists of the word
jesus conveys her shock. Then the word
screaming, placed by itself for dramatic emphasis.
The flashbacks concentrate on details of Michael's death but initially Joy does not describe seeing Michael's body itself.
As the novel progresses Joy's thoughts move from the discovery of Michael's body, through to him being taken to the mortuary, and the attempts of the holiday courier and his girlfriend to support Joy.