From the back cover:
"Unique among Jack Kerouac's novels, Visions of Gerard focuses on the scenes and sensations of childhood - the wisdom, anguish, intensity, innocence, evil, insight, suffering, delight, and shock - as they were revealed in the short tragic-happy life of his saintly brother, Gerard. Set in Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, it is an unsettling, beautiful, and sad exploration of the meaning and precariousness of existence."
This is my favorite book by Jack Kerouac. I have read it several times. It is his least cynical and most hopeful book. His account of Gerard's life (not his adult view of his parents and there reaction to Gerard's tragic death) and death is pure, sweet and true. There is real sadness in the story. It seems that Jack spent his whole life trying to come to terms with something that was perfectly clear to him as a child.