Twin Oaks is a self-contained community where it seems that skies are always blue, the grass is always green, flowers bloom prolifically, the houses exude charm and grace and the people are decent and always cordial. Yet appearances can be deceiving, for beneath exteriors lay the darker elements of personality: madness, envy, infidelity and spiritual vacuity.
Jackson Pollack is a frustrated artist living in the shadow of his own name. Cribbed and confined in Twin Oaks, he wonders how he became a house husband raising three children with a wife who won’t share his bed.
Jackson’s wife April, mother to Alton, Molly, and Piggy, is determined to make everything around her perfect and to expand Twin Oaks, even if doing so destroys her marriage.
Wilma Womack carries on conversations with her genius dog Gustav and is married to a man she met on the Internet who is not at all what he seems.
Mrs. Ringhaus, an abandoned wife and mother of two, runs each morning through the loop of her memories as she tries desperately to reclaim her self-esteem.
And Mrs. MacMillan, the matriarch of the community, descends into madness when her prize rose garden suddenly will not bloom.
Melissa Palmer’s deft prose casts a shadow over suburban society and exposes the darker aspects of personality that hide behind the superficial light of façade.