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We Have Always Lived in the Castle
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Archive: Other Books > (Trim the TBR) We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - 4 stars

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annapi | 4976 comments Mary Katherine Blackwood lives with her older sister Constance and their invalid Uncle Julian in a house on the outskirts of a small New England village. They are a strange, reclusive family, feared and hated by the insular villagers because of a tragedy in their past. Young Mary Katherine, or "Merricat" as she is called, is our narrator, and the reader can see from the start that no one in this household is quite right in the head.

I can see why this is a classic! It's brilliantly written, and the author weaves an atmosphere that is strange, creepy, and in many parts bordering on horror - it has quite aptly been described as American Gothic. This has been on my TBR for some time but had never really been a high priority for me, so I'm glad that the Trim the TBR challenge finally made me read it! Highly recommended.


LibraryCin | 8333 comments I read this in October one year. I can't recall if I read it again, but I vaguely remember thinking it would be a good Halloween read, so if I ever wanted to read it again, it would also be in October. It was short, so I might give it another go.


Idit | 1028 comments I agree. It is so well written.
I read it few months ago, absolutely loved it and recommended it to friends overseas. We ended up having an impromptu book club on whatsapp and I reread it last month.
It is funny and disturbing and cute and quirky.

We had a whole discussion about (spoiler - can’t hide it since I write in the app) is somebody a fractured person (a’la Sybil) or one is a figment if the other and which one.

I love that it’s a bit open for interpretation but my final thoughts were that it’s all about the interaction with the mobs to begin with that became their neighbours and that there was something really touching underneath it all


message 4: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2816 comments LibraryCin wrote: "I read this in October one year. I can't recall if I read it again, but I vaguely remember thinking it would be a good Halloween read, so if I ever wanted to read it again, it would also be in Octo..."

Yes, October! Maybe I will queue it up for next month and Fall Flurries.


Jason Oliver | 2063 comments I love Shirley Jackson's writings and she has a knack for unusual and weird but not overly so.

I also recommend her short stories, "The Lottery" and "One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts"


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