Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

My rating: 4.5/5

From Amazon: "Since the mysterious death of four family members, the superstitious Mary Katherine 'Merricat' Blackwood, her ailing uncle Julian, and agoraphobic sister Constance have lived in a bizarre but contented state of isolation. But when cousin Charles arrives in search of the Blackwood fortune, a terrible family secret is revealed."

First of all: I need to read more Shirley Jackson books. I loved this one. Her writing is poetic, easy, and creepy all at once. And I love books full of realistic, believable characters, no matter what genre, and Jackson does this perfectly. Even minor characters are entirely believable, especially in the horrible things they do and the subsequent horrible feelings (or lack thereof, depending on the character) that follow. Seeing the story through crazy Merricat's eyes is gripping in a way that almost makes you feel detached from the story, as she does, but also with the full realization of what's happening. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a while, especially one written twenty years before I was born. It isn't an especially long book, I don't remember any particularly bad language or goriness, and I think high school and older would probably enjoy it.

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