Mikki's Reviews > We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
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Jun 18, 11

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bookshelves: novellas
Read from June 16 to 18, 2011


Here is what we know about the Blackwoods:

1. They come from a pedigreed lineage deeply steeped in tradition and manners, 2. Everyone in the village hates them, 3. Their home is an elegant historic landmark that sits on miles of private acres which they're terrified to leave, and 4. Just six years ago there were many more Blackwoods -- a mother, father, younger brother and aunt -- but now there are only three.

There is eighteen year old Mary Katherine, her older sister, Constance and their elderly Uncle Julian, all trying to live a quiet secluded existence despite a legendary past. But that proves impossible as one of the sisters has committed an unspeakable crime and although legally acquitted of all charges, she and her family continue to be persecuted by the neighboring villagers in their self-appointed courts.

Shirley Jackson weaves a suspenseful tale of mob mentality and the danger that can ensue when propelled by feelings of righteousness and "Us" against "Them."
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Tajma (new) - added it

Tajma Excellent review! I don't know why I've never read a Shirley Jackson novel. The Lottery is in my top five favorite short stories. I'm adding this.


Mikki The voice of the narrator (Mary Katherine) is brilliant and that's really what bumped my original 3.5 to an even 4. I found it really difficult to write a review of this book without there being spoilers.


message 3: by Sharyl (new)

Sharyl This one's on my list:)


message 4: by Mikki (last edited Jun 21, 2011 02:46PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mikki I think that you'll enjoy it, Sharyl. Next I'd like to read her collection of stories too.


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