We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween everyone! In honor of the holiday I decided to post on a great spooky read.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

by Shirley Jackson


"My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance."

So begins the short novel the has become one of my new favorite October reads. The Blackwood sisters live with their crazy uncle on the outskirts of a small town. They're social pariahs, cast out of polite society, though at the beginning we don't know why. It has a bit of a Grey Gardens feel to it, but with more of the tragedy and less of the humor.

This story unravels so beautifully, giving you just enough new information with each page. Jackson has such a flair for maintaining suspense. If you haven't already read her short story "The Lottery," go do so immediately. Then you'll understand what I'm talking about when I say she can walk the line between disturbing and thought-provoking, while at the same time giving you some serious chills.

The creepy factor is high. The ending in incredibly satisfying. The writing is fantastic. I can ask for nothing more from a gothic story.

This was my final read for the R.I.P. Challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings.

For more R.I.P reviews visit here.


Jillian said...

This sounds like a good story! I've read "The Lottery" and it's definitely creepy/disturbing/thought-provoking. :-)

Nymeth said...

This is definitely one of my favourite October reads too!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I have never read this! I think I need to start making my list for next year! haha

Bybee said...

Merricat, would you like a cup of tea?...

I love this book!

Amanda said...

I'm so glad you loved it!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jillian - If you liked The Lottery I think you'd like this.

Nymeth - You always have great Oct. read recommendations!

Sandy - After the RIP challenge I felt the same way. I've seen so many great recommendations for next year.

Bybee - Ha, so good!

Amanda - Yes, you were definitely right about it!

Teacher/Learner said...

Thanks for the recommendation. Am adding to my TBR list. The Lottery was incredible and so powerful.

Cozy in Texas said...

Good review - thanks.

Jenny said...

I need to get a copy of this book! I keep wanting to read it, then reading Haunting of Hill House instead. HoHH is a darn good book, but no substitute for this one.

Heather said...

Yay! I really enjoyed this one when I listened to it, last year I think. So glad you loved it too!

Suey said...

I'm going to have to add this to my next year's RIP reads.

Celine said...

Oooo, I'm such a huge Shirley Jackson fan. I get a little thrill every time someone brings her work back onto the radar. Thank you!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenny - I read that one as well and it's good, but not as good as this one!

Suey - It's perfect for RIP.

Celine - I feel that way about certain authors too. Jackson is quickly becoming one of those for me.