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Surrey, United Kingdom

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Over the past months I have read a number of rave reviews for We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, so when I was lucky enough to stumble across a second-hand copy in my local charity shop I snapped it up! Having just finished Wolf Hall I was looking forward to reading something compact and manageable.

I loved this book - everything about it was just magical. It was funny and sad, sinister and heart-warming. The characters are wonderful and so engaging - even Jonas the cat feels like an old friend. The atmosphere is so well built up with the mystery of the Blackwood family being revealed slowly and never spelt out for the reader until the very end, making the book a real page-turner.

Merricat (Mary Catherine), her sister Constance and Uncle Julian live in the family home, hidden away from the villagers. From the beginning we know a terrible tragedy has befallen the Blackwood family and that it has made the villagers wary of the remaining family members. The villagers fear and resentment eventually boils over in a frightening and destructive attack on the Blackwoods, before calm is restored once again and Constance (true to her name) and Merricat continue to live their reclusive lives.

A chilling but thoroughly enjoyable book, I am sure it will stay with me for many years to come.

1 comment:

  1. I have this book in my tbr pile after reading a few favourable reviews about this on various blogs. After reading your review may have to move it up a notch or two in my pile.