‘Her books penetrate keenly to the terrible truths which sometimes hide behind comfortable fictions, to the treachery beneath cheery neighborhood faces and the plain manners of country folk; to the threat that sparkles at the rainbow’s edge of the sprinkler spray on even the greenest lawns, on the sunniest of midsummer mornings’ Donna Tartt
In Pepper Street, an attractive suburban neighbourhood filled with bullies and egotistical bigots, the feelings of the inhabitants are shallow and selfish: what can a neighbour gain from another neighbour, what may be won from a friend? One child stands alone in her goodness: little Caroline Desmond, kind, sweet and gentle, and the pride of her family. But the malice and self-absorption of the people of Pepper Street lead to a terrible event that will destroy the community of which they are so proud. Exposing the murderous cruelty of children, and the blindness and selfishness of adults, Shirley Jackson reveals the ugly truth behind a ‘perfect’ world.