In this novel, the South looms dark and ominous in the background with its Biblical rhetoric, its conflict between a tradition of religious fundamentalism and modern scepticism, racial contrasts and the industrialisation of a rural society.
But more than a novel of time and place, it is the story of a tormented family submerged in infidelity and driven by a vengeful love that is blocked, hurt and perverted.
Peyton Loftis, who frantically needs a husband precisely because she loves her father; the decadent Milton, whose infidelity has made his marriage no more than a stage drama; and Helen, his wife, who loves only what she can control - her crippled daughter Maudie, or the childish part of her husband.
This extraordinarily powerful novel is the portrait of a family who, in the words of Sir Thomas Browne in his "Urn Burial", 'all lie down in darkness'.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 03/08/2000
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099284994