Part two continues the story, but jumps back twenty-one years to do it, back to when Gus is serving as an Administrator in the Marshlands, and to the choices he makes that earn him the label of traitor.
Part three takes another narrative leap back eleven years to the beginning of the end; it's here where you finally start to understand what makes Gus the man he becomes.
I'm not explaining it well, but this style of reverse narration is definitely an interesting way to tell a story. It makes Olshan's writing feel very literary. And while I wouldn't want to read a lot of books written this way, I did end up liking this one. Even though at times I wanted a little more detail about the Marshmen and their history, and a little more of Gus's story, too; because I found them both interesting and intriguing. Marshlands is different: a little sad, but uniquely memorable. I'd call it another serendipitous find from the O shelf.