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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
Shirley Jackson is one of my favorite authors. She uses suspense, hints and innuendo like no one I've ever encountered. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Rapunzel Smith
I totally loved this book! It's interesting, strange, and humorous.Published 6 days ago by Happy Camper
Only Dostoevsky enters the dark mind as well as Shirley. And she knows the horror always present in the ordinary world.
This book reminded me of an old movie, it was a quick read, not sure how much material our book club will be able to discuss since you could tell early on that the house was crazy... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Whitney D. Welch
Dripping with darkness, this book is a fairly tale about social ostracism and the undercurrents in small town families and communities. A little dark pleasure from long ago...Published 13 days ago by Lars Pendicott
I had to order this book for my writing class in college, and I am so happy that I read it because it is now one of my favorite books! Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amy
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson was one of the oddest stories that I have ever read. Read morePublished 22 days ago by 2LZ
It was very hard to put down once I started reading. Merricat and Constance are two incredible sisters with a twisted sense of humor and a twisted way of living. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Michelle
This is a classic that I had not read before.
It was an engaging story.
I enjoyed it and will definitely read more by this author.