Sunday, October 28, 2012

"We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson

146 pages

Merricat and her sister Constance live in Blackwood family mansion with their ailing uncle Julian. Constance and Julian never leave the property, while Merricat only goes into town once a week to get food and other necessities. The townspeople fear and mock them because their entire family was murdered years ago and Constance is widely believed to be the killer though she wasn't convicted. The little family has reached an uneasy peace by isolating themselves in their home, but the arrival of a long-lost cousin threatens to disrupt their world. 

I loved this creepy classic. Jackson has mastered the art of using subtle psychological elements to create something that's much more disturbing than a simple gory horror story. Merricat is an unreliable but fascinating narrator, and I enjoyed trying to figure out what was really going on. 

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