Book 52 of my 2017 Reading Challenge
read from August 15 - 17
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Summary (via the book jacket)
Delving deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when outside forces disrupt their delicate way of life. Mary Katherine "Merricat" Blackwood - among the most memorable narrators in twentieth-century fiction - lives in the Blackwood family home with the reclusive company of only her sister Constance, once accused of fatally poisoning her own family, and her Uncle Julian, confined to a wheelchair and obsessed with the ongoing memoirs. Together, they have grown comfortable with a quiet, isolated experience, despite continual persecution by the townsfolk. But when their estranged cousin Charles arrives at the estate armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into her father's safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect her remaining family. At once disturbing and delightful, Shirley Jackson's masterful final novel may be her best of all.
The fact that I read this over a span of 3 days doesn't tell the whole story. I read 25% of it in one sitting, was busy the next day, and finished the rest in one bleary-eyed session that technically took 2 days since I finished around 3 a.m.
I took no notes while I was reading because I was so engrossed. This was an excellent read that held up surprisingly well. Highly recommended for those that like creepy stories where things aren't explicitly stated but everything feels off so you know something is coming.
Quote from the Book
"Blackwoods had always lived in our house, and kept their things in order; as soon as a new Blackwood wife moved in, a place was found for her belonging, and so our house was built up with layers of Blackwood property weighting it, and keeping it steady against the world."