Six-part novel by Michael McDowell
. Credited by Stephen King
as part of the inspiration for The Green Mile
Contents and Commentary
- The Flood -- Elinor Dammert appears in the flooded town of Perdido, Alabama, and marries into the powerful and wealthy Caskey family. Elinor is a bizarre were-gator/frog-like creature when in the waters of the Blackwater river.
- The Levee -- A levee is built to protect the town -- but to allow it to be built Elinor has to sacrifice a child to the river.
- The House -- Elinor's daughter Frances, who is also a creature, but is unaware of it. Revenants.
- The War -- Frances learns of her mother's legacy.
- The Fortune -- The Caskey family is secure, wealthy, respected. But Frances learnes the terrible price when she gives birth to twins. One a normal human, the other locked forever in monster form and destined to live under the river.
- Rain -- 60 years after Elinor came out of the river, she dies, and the river rises, drowning Perdito, reclaiming her.
This is a really well detailed and carefully developed tale of three generations of powerful women in a small southern town. No synopsis can do it justice.
An interesting side note is that McDowell's creature appears in two other places. The Talisman
by Stephen King
and Peter Straub
, and in The Nightmare Before Christmas