Mary's Reviews > The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
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Jul 19, 12

bookshelves: ghost-stories
Read in July, 2012

Oooh, it's good. I think the fact that I read this book alone, in a house that was not mine, tucked up in the hills, makes it more lovely, but also my being a woman of a certain age (27-35, I think) who begins to feel, like Eleanor in type although different by degree, that her youth is beginning to slip, and what did she spend it on, anyway? A terror of not being a has-been but a never will, clipped in the bud, so to speak. Eleanor is fascinating: she loves Theo with devotion that is sometimes schoolgirlish and sometimes sexual, but she also sometimes looks down on her head and wants to bash it in; she thrills in being in a room, with people, being the fourth person in a room, but she also feels the voice of her mother's 11 years of criticism; she is terrified by the house, but because it is the first time anything has happened to her, and the first home she has had to herself, she loves it passionately. Jackson's writing is at her best here, evocative and psychological, with perfect rhythms and pacing that draws us in such as surely as Eleanor without ever coming off as gimmicky or overdrawn.
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