Alice Hoffman

The Dark Side of Suburbia by Cindy Hulsey

I’m fascinated by books in which a dark underbelly lurks. Victorian literature often contrasts the buttoned-up, polite and elegant visible world with the steamy, raw, and vice-ridden universe lying beneath it. Similarly, many contemporary novels expose the ugliness that prowls the perfectly manicured lawns and look-alike homes of suburbia when no one’s looking.

Below are some books in which the shadowy side of suburbia is exposed:

Gift Me, Please by Laura Raphael

Photo of Laura Raphael

I am one of those aunts who gives mostly books for Christmas and birthdays – on par with underwear and socks as Worst. Gifts. Ever. in the cultural mythology of gift-giving. Fortunately, our niece and nephew love to read, and they are generally happy to get books from us every year. (Indeed, on more than one Christmas, one or both of them have chosen to read a new book than playing with whatever Nerf Blaster/Teeny Little Puppy/My New Helicopter toy they’d just received.)