Mary Katherine Blackwood (AKA Merricat) narrates this odd tale of tragedy and family secrets from classic thriller author Shirley Jackson. She is a young, isolated woman with a penchant for natural magick, and is fiercely protective of her home and her family members who survived a mass poisoning some years earlier. Arsenic had been in the sugar bowl one fateful dinner, and four family members perished, leaving only Merricat, her sister Constance, and her Uncle Julian, who is left chronically ill and demented from the arsenic. Constance had been acquitted of murder, but the long shadow of doubt remains, both in the malice of the locals and in the rambling words of her invalid uncle. The three live together in relatively peaceful isolation, but it was not to last. When a long-estranged family member appears, Merricat must act to protect her loved ones...and perhaps their secrets.
The inhabitants of the Rochester house wield a strange power over their neighbors