C. M. Rosens's Reviews > The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
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it was amazing

Haunting and Rich

I loved this and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read it! Houses that may/may not be sentient are my favourite thing. I loved the ambiguity and the focus on fairytale-spinning Eleanor, a kind of lost Cinderella, dancing through the tale looking for somewhere to belong. Her childlike imagination and astute, shrewd observations about the house and the others adds a dreamlike quality to the narration.

The empty space in what we don’t know, what we aren’t told, what the characters don’t say to each other, is all just as important as what is shown/told/described. The gaps in the communication, hints and unspoken things, are all part of the ways Jackson builds up a picture of the relationships between these strangers and how they develop.

The atmosphere is richly built up and the climax is inevitable and suitably dark, tragic, but oddly satisfying as a conclusion : overall, with the themes and tone, it’s easy to see why this is such an influential book, and why Jackson’s work in general has had such an impact on the genre.
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Reading Progress

September 19, 2019 – Shelved
September 19, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
October 1, 2019 – Started Reading
October 11, 2019 –
66.0% "This is such a rich read. I really like Eleanor and her light/dark fairy tale imagination, the slow atmospheric build up, and the paranormal activity is amping up in Ch4-5!

Sentient houses (or is it?) = my favourite trope, and I can see why this one is grumpy, what with the wonky architecture and all those dark, deliberately windowless rooms. I’d be annoyed too."
October 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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