Thursday, 30 January 2014

Book #2 We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

We Have Always Lived In The Castle is a quirky, gothic, tale about two sisters Mary Katherine and Constance who alongside their frail Uncle Julian are the last remaining members of a well to do family living in self imposed exile in their large, foreboding house.

We meet Mary Katherine, better known as Merricat as she shops for essentials in the village. Feared and despised by locals who insult her, it transpires that the rest of their family died in unusual circumstances and the sisters are viewed with as much suspicion as curiousity.

A spooky story, the strength of the novel is how information about the past slowly unfolds as you are reading it. Though in one case, it was plain to me quite early on how something had transpired, other areas of the story continued to maintain mystery after I'd closed it.

I went so far as to google information on a certain character and came up dry, which means that I'm still uncertain about something but in a good way, in a way that makes the book memorable and makes you turn it over for a while in your mind afterward. The edition I have is part of the Penguin Threads series and has this great cover that made me take note of it in the shop.

Although the story is relatively short it is both engrossing and atmospheric & I would recommend that you buy it if you like mysteries in general but particularly those that have a dark, slighly sinister vibe running throughout.


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