Winner of the 1999 Orange Prize for Fiction
Synopses & Reviews
An auspicious debut novel by a young writer who will remind readers of Anne Lamott and Anne Tyler
Crime in the Neighborhood centers on a headline event-- the molestation and murder of a twelve-year-old boy in a Washington, D.C., suburb. At the time of the murder, 1973, Marsha was nine years old and as an adult she still remembers that summer as a time when murder and her own family's upheaval were intertwined. Everyone, it seemed to Marsha at the time, was committing crimes. Her father deserted his family to take up with her mother's younger sister. Her teenage brother and sister were smoking and shoplifting, and her mother was "flirting" with Mr. Green, the new next-door neighbor. Even the president of the United States seemed to be a crook. But it is Marsha's own suspicions about who committed this crime that has the town up in arms and reveals what happens when fear runs wild.
"A remarkable first novel...that captures the history of child-parent relations for the last quarter of a century." The New York Times Book Review
When the murdered body of a local boy is found in the woods, suspicions transform young Marsha's once-secure neighbourhood. Marsha begins to watch her neighbours and when Mr Green, the shy bachelor from next-door, takes an interest in her mother, Marsha is drawn into a cruel chain of events.
Set in Washington D.C. during the year of the Watergate scandal, this is a seductive story of suspicion, fear and moral corruption, told from the perspective of a 10 year-old girl.