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Or so she believes. But at last the magic fails. A stranger arrives--cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune. He disturbs the sisters' careful habits, installing himself at the head of the family table, unearthing Merricat's treasures, talking privately to Constance about "normal lives" and "boy friends." Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods. The result is crisis and tragedy, the revelation of a terrible secret, the convergence of the villagers upon the house, and a spectacular unleashing of collective spite.
The sisters are propelled further into seclusion and solipsism, abandoning "time and the orderly pattern of our old days" in favor of an ever-narrowing circuit of ritual and shadow. They have themselves become talismans, to be alternately demonized and propitiated, darkly, with gifts. Jackson's novel emerges less as a study in eccentricity and more--like some of her other fictions--as a powerful critique of the anxious, ruthless processes involved in the maintenance of normality itself. "Poor strangers," says Merricat contentedly at last, studying trespassers from the darkness behind the barricaded Blackwood windows. "They have so much to be afraid of." --Sarah Waters --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A very intriguing cast of characters! Shirley Jackson does a fantastic job of letting you in a little bit at a time, making you want to read more. Read morePublished 2 hours ago by MaryBeth H.
7/5 Stars. I cannot remember the last time I started a book in the afternoon and then forgot all about my earthly obligations, and about sleep - and felt compelled to stay up until... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Ioana Stoica
“Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you'll poison me.
Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep? Read more
I, like the introduction to this novella predicts, am one of many who read "The Lottery" without knowing who the author was. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Grigori T. Cross
One of my favorite stories/authors of all time. Did a paper on S.J. in college. Gillian Flynn's writing reminds me a bit of SJ, not the style necessarily but the way they both... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Thought this was a very quirky, haunting book. Enjoyed it immensely.Published 2 months ago by sslaurin
I really liked how weird this book was its very satisfying. I thought the characters were very brilliantly built out.Published 2 months ago by Maryetta M. Anschutz
Shirley Jackson is at once a varied and deeply dependable writer. Despite the stylistic variety that distinguishes her works, from the nightmare studies of Hill House and Hangsaman... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ro McNulty