Beams’ depiction of the treatment of women at the hands of men – even supposedly enlightened men – recalls The Fever by Megan Abbott. There are echoes of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, too. Beams keeps us guessing as to the girls’ culpability, though a rushed ending sweeps them off stage, choosing instead to focus on Caroline’s story. The author lives in Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University. Her short story collection We Show What We Have Learned won the Kirkus US Best Debut in 2016. It was praised for its feminist insights, something which can also be said of her debut novel.