"But desperation can do amazing things to a person." (293)
This quote is a running theme for all of the characters in the book. Throughout the story everyone does something in an act of desperation that is very uncharacteristic as well as harmful to others.
Laura's largest act of desperation is when she decides to have an affair with her student. She does this because things with Daniel have begun falling apart and she doesn't know how to cope with it.
Jason's act of desperation comes the night that he decides to rape Trixie. He felt bad about dumping her and was desperate for some attention. This desperate act was what caused Jason's life to end in the middle of the book.
Daniel's has multiple times where he is desperate and does horrible things, due to suppressed anger. First of he mildly abuses his wife when finding out she has cheated on him. Second he attacks Jason in the grocery store parking lot when he sees him talking to Trixie. And lastly he kidnaps Jason and almost murders him for the things he has done to Trixie, and then lies to the cops about it.
Finally Trixie's major act due to desperation is running away. She feels she has no where to turn and that this is her only option.