The cover on this one is not the cover on the copy that I had. I bought the book at Powell's in Portland. Don't miss the store if you go. It is overwhelming but in a good way. The cover I bought was totally 70s with a great black and white title in a Starsky and Hutch type font. I actually did not keep this book which is rare for me and Highsmith. I'm a little sad I took it to the thrift store but I was so unnerved after I read it I did not really want to keep it around.
This is a collection of short stories. At times you feel like yelling at the characters. Hey! Lady! There's a reason your pond won't drain! Run!!!! In anything I've ever read about Highsmith the point is always made that her mother made it clear she did not want to have her. What a terrible thing to say to a child. But, wow, does Patricia work through some mother issues in this collection.
Patricia is not sympathetic toward her characters. She makes does not cut them any slack and exposes their weaknesses. This collection even has a science fiction story. Bizarre but actually timely because the subject is the environment. As I said, I was in a bit of shock after reading this one. It shows Highsmith's mastery of the creepy. Her short stories condense that uncomfortable feeling that is a theme in all her works. So if you picked this one up at the Brown Elephant - enjoy! As I said, I'm a little bummed I got rid of this one but don't think I would re-read these stories.