“Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.
Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!”
This was an excellently creepy, dripping with atmosphere, delight of a book. It hard to properly give this novel its due without spoiling the whole thing so you’ll just have to trust me, and the countless reviewers before me, that this is worth seeking out.
The Blackwood family consists of: Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood, our eighteen year old narrator, is one of the best written characters I’ve come across in years. She believes in sympathetic magic and rituals and is an overall delight to spend time with. Merricat lives with her agoraphobic sister, Constance, who was accused but acquitted of poisoning the rest of the family with arsenic six years ago. She indulges much of Merricat’s childlike behavior and takes care of her ailing uncle. Uncle Julian, who survived the poisoning, is slowly losing his grip on reality and the past’s events.
The three of them stay shut inside their mansion with only Merricat venturing outside, twice a week, for occasional provisions. They have few visitors and are regarded as strange by the rest of the town. Their lives, which have been structured by strict routines for years, are dramatically changed when an estranged cousin knocks on their door.
Five stars. Must read. It’s also getting a film adaptation which I am so there for.