"Evil as it relates to or is manifested in women. One is tempted to see the heroine as mad but really she is quite sane. Castle makes one question one's assumptions about women. Is an evil woman actually insane, or is it just easier to perceive an evil woman as crazy because we can't accept that a woman can have a heart as cold and hard as Hitler's or Pol Pot's?"
"Mental and physical abuse, desperation, suicide by self-immolation...this is quite an intense book. Stead is known for flaying your sensibilities and this book lives up to that claim. A harrowing look at evil in the modern nuclear family."
"The human evils of shame, fear, and denial keep the protagonist from developing solid, nurturing relationships with other men. A unique exploration of human and spiritual darkness that still goes unrecognized in modern American letters."