Olivia Waite is a romance author, practicing feminist, and wide-ranging dilettante.
This book lived up to every piece of hype I'd ever heard about it. As a classics major myself, it's hard to imagine something more tailor-made to simultaneously horrify and delight. I think it doesn't read as shocking now as it would have when it was first published -- hello, Flowers in the Attic and the rise of erotic romance -- but there's still such a powerful sense of loomings here, as well as some of the most terrifying and delicious metaphors I've seen in recent memory. (The earthworms after the rain -- brr!) It's also rare to see such a passive character feel so real and human -- Nick Carraway comes to mind, but few others.
Highly recommended, especially if you went to a small college in a small town.