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We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Archives > We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson

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Kathy | 2120 comments I read this for week 41, a book with an unreliable narrator. The story of the three Blackwoods, Constance, Mary Katherine and Uncle Julian, is simply told. The book is easy to read. What is actually going on is another question. I had a feeling of uneasiness throughout reading the entire book.

The book is considered Shirley Jackson's masterpiece. It is currently in production as a movie possibly to be released in 2017.


Here is the Goodreads summary. Take it with a grain of salt.

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

message 2: by Zaz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 3034 comments It's also my pick for #41, it's on my TBR for a while but I didn't feel like reading it last year.

I read The Lottery & other stories by the same author for the 2015 challenge, I found it pretty flat but not difficult to read, so I'm curious to see what she did with We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Hopefully, it'll work better with me!

Kathy | 2120 comments Zaz,
It is definitely worth reading. I hope it works out for you. Let me know what you think.

Jody (jodybell) | 3472 comments Love this one. Very atmospheric.

Katie | 2369 comments I just read this one at the end of December for the Seasonal Reading Challenge. Very quick read. I'm with you Kathy about feeling a sense of uneasiness through the entire novel. It was my first Shirley Jackson. It wasn't exactly what I expected, but I enjoyed it. Definitely atmospheric.

message 6: by Zaz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 3034 comments Finished it yesterday, I read it in a day :)
I really enjoyed this one, the atmosphere was good and I liked the fact I kept guessing all along about what happened. I liked the main characters (and the cat!), except the cousin who was very annoying.

It's a good surprise, I was a little worried at the beginning because the writing style wasn't really engaging, but it picked up well after that. It was way more entertaining than The Lottery & other stories.

Marina H | 1315 comments I read this for week 7: A gothic novel.
I didn't know what to expect since it's not a genre I read a lot (if ever really) and I hadn't read anything by Shirley Jackson before.
I enjoyed it and as you all say it's very atmospheric. I figured out pretty early what had happened and I felt like the beginning was better than the ending which I thought dragged a little, but over all a good book and quick read.

Sarah Holland | 7 comments I read this for a gothic novel as well. It's on my to be read list since forever, but have never got around to reading it. I did wonder about the precipitating event - was it just that Merricat was sent to bed without supper? And poor Constance...


Anna | 969 comments I read this for week 43, book with a title that is a whole sentence. Definitely creepy. I agree with those who felt uneasy throughout the book. I felt the same.

message 10: by Joan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joan Barnett | 1487 comments I read this for the 2019 ATY challenge prompt #23 something old. It was written 70 years ago. I guess I was hopeful that I would like it more. I do enjoy her writing. I just didn't feel invested in the characters and I just thought the events were a little too weird I guess.

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