This was certainly different from all the other books I have read by this author. I would even say it was a little weird, but it was also fascinating. It dragged a bit in the middle and certain chapters were very boring, but then the next chapter would be great.
Taking place in 1906, it involves a family and a neighborhood that was attacked by some strange, occult experiences--and felt they were accursed. Oates involves historical figures, such as, Woodrow Wilson, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt. With Sinclair and London, we get a healthy dose of the Socialist movement at the time. We get to learn a little about presidents and a lot about the Princeton area where the story takes place.
I liked most of the book, and it was a worthwhile read.