How the fuck did I get to my thirties without having read Shirley Jackson!? I feel like my teachers, parents, and book-loving friends have all let me down by not foisting her writing upon me. I feel like most people read The Lottery in school, but for some reason I didn’t have it assigned to me. Shame on my teachers!
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is creepy as hell. Merricat lives with her sister Constance and ailing Uncle Julian in the large estate just outside of town. As she tells us from the start, most of her family is dead and the townspeople hate the Blackwoods. I definitely don’t want to give much away about the plot, but as the story goes on, the creepiness factor ramps up. Jackson definitely had a twisted mind. It’s not the sort of creepy to give you nightmares exactly, it’s the kind that will make you think what the fuck when ever you think about it in the future.
I really enjoyed the story, but I adored Jackson’s writing. I think it’s true love. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is as about as close to a perfectly written book as there ever was or will be. Every single scene, every single word is in the right place. At 160 pages, this is a slim little book with no extra fat to trim. Jackson was a master and I can’t wait to read more of her writing.