This is a booklist created by Gere Branch library staff to accompany the stage production of The Bad Seed at Gere’s neighbor, The Lincoln Community Playhouse.
The Bad Seed is a 1954 stage play adapted by American playwright Maxwell Anderson from William March’s novel of the same name (also 1954). The story was also adapted into an Academy-Award nominated 1956 film, directed by Mervin Leroy. The scene is a small Southern town where Colonel and Christine Penmark live with their daughter, Rhoda. Little Rhoda Penmark is the evil queen of the story. On the surface she is sweet, charming, full of old-fashioned graces, loved by her parents, admired by all her elders. But Rhoda’s mother has an uneasy feeling about her. When one of Rhoda’s schoolmates is mysteriously drowned at a picnic, Mrs. Penmark is alarmed. For the boy who was drowned was the one who had won the penmanship medal that Rhoda felt she deserved. Then, Christine begins to wonder if Rhoda may have been involved in several other sudden deaths surrounding the family.
Flim-Flam Man: A True Family History
by Jennifer Vogel [364.109 Vol]
In 1995, following John’s arrest in what turned out to be the fourth-largest seizure of counterfeit bills in U.S. history, he managed to slip away, leaving his now grown daughter to wonder what had become of him. Framed around the six months Jennifer’s father ran from the law, Flim-Flam Man vividly chronicles the police chase — stakeouts, lie detector tests, even a segment on Unsolved Mysteries. In describing her tumultuous life with John Vogel, Jennifer deftly examines the messy, painful, and almost inescapable inheritance one generation bequeaths to the next.
Are You There Alone? The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates
by Suzanne O’Malley [364.152 Oma]
Andrea Yates’s horrific murders of her five small children-drowning them one by one in their bathtub-remains one of the most shocking crimes of recent years. In this overly detailed retelling, investigative journalist O’Malley has transformed herself in the popular current style from observer into participant, albeit with ample justification.
Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in my Family
by David Berg [364.152 Ber]
As William Faulkner said, “The past is not dead, it’s not even past.” This observation seems especially true in matters of family, when the fury between generations is often never resolved and instead secretly carried, a wound that cannot heal. For David Berg, this is truer than for most, and once you read the story of his family, you will understand why he held it privately for so long and why the betrayals between parent and child can be the most wrenching of all.
January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her
by Michael Schofield [Biography Schofield]
An account of a father’s fight to save his child from an extremely severe case of mental illness in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Death Sentence: The True Story of Velma Barfield’s Life, Crimes and Execution
by Jerry Bledsoe [364.15 Ble]
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Blood and Before He Wakes comes another masterpiece of crime and punishment. A haunting true story that resonates with today’s headlines, Death Sentence takes us inside the life of a multiple killer – and the only woman to be executed in the United States from 1962 until 1998.
Hurry Down Sunshine
by Michael Greenberg [Biography Greenberg]
Hurry Down Sunshine tells the story of the extraordinary summer when, at the age of fifteen, Michael Greenberg’s daughter was struck mad. It begins with Sally’s visionary crack-up on the streets of Greenwich Village, and continues, among other places, in the out-of-time world of a Manhattan psychiatric ward during the city’s most sweltering months.
House of Reckoning
by John Saul [Saul]
Outcast by an injury sustained from her father, foster child Sara Crane befriends a former mental patient and her art teacher and soon creates paintings of long-ago violent crimes committed by the inmates of a local asylum.
Crime of Privilege
by Walter Walker [Walker]
Pitted against a powerful family when he reopens the scandalous case of a young woman’s unsolved murder, George Becket is forced to confront a haunting mistake from his own past while outmaneuvering wealth-driven corruption.
The Last Girl: A Crime Novel
by Jane Casey [Casey]
Investigating two brutal murders, Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan finds the case complicated by deep-rooted family secrets, numerous false leads, and the questionable decisions of a once-trustworthy superintendent.
by John Ajvide Lindqvist [Ajvide Lindqvist]
Two years after his six-year-old daughter disappears during a family visit to a snowy island lighthouse, Anders struggles with alcoholism while searching for answers and discovers that the island’s residents are hiding a deadly secret about a dark power from the sea.
The Boys in the Trees: A Novel
by Mary Swan [Swan]
Newly arrived to the countryside, William Heath, his wife, and two daughters appear the picture of a devoted family. But when accusations of embezzlement spur William to commit an unthinkable crime, those who witnessed this affectionate, attentive father go about his routine of work and family must reconcile action with character.
We Need to Talk about Kevin
by Lionel Shriver [Shriver]
Now a major motion picture by Lynne Ramsay, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly,Lionel Shriver’s resonant story of a mother’s unsettling quest to understand her teenage son’s deadly violence, her own ambivalence toward motherhood, and the explosive link between them reverberates with the haunting power of high hopes shattered by dark realities.
The DVD is also available at Lincoln City Libraries (call number: DVD We need to talk about Kevin).