22 February 2020

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Book Review

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Publication date: September 21, 1962 and October 31, 2006
Pages: 146 pages
Genre: Gothic fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars ✰✰✰✰✰
Strengths: Words used, suspense, characters, unreliable narration
Weaknesses: I wanted more!

This book made its way immediately to my heart, and my best books ever list. I'm not sure if this might say something unstable about me. And I don't much care.

Constance and Merricat are the most loving sisters ever. They will care for each other forever, and all while living in the castle together. A tragedy changed the whole makeup of their family six years ago. Now the sisters have to care for themselves, and feeble Uncle Julian.

One of my favorite parts of the book was Merricat's narration. How much of it's real, and how much is Merricat's imagination? And if it's real to her, does it matter if it's real to everyone else or not? It's not important to her or Constance or Uncle Julian. They have their schedule and do the things they do the same, day after day, and week after week.

But then Cousin Charles arrives. He wants the family fortune. The two sisters appear to be weak women to him, and he acts like they need him to survive. They don't.

I'm looking forward to reading this again soon. I loved the fantasy land of Merricat's mind, even if it may not be the safest place. I'd give this book 5 out of 5 stars, and I like it more the longer I think about it.

As an aside, while getting the picture of the cover, I saw that there was a movie made in 2018, based on the book. But the trailer and summary make it sound like they may be interpreting the original tragedy differently than I did. I'm interested in seeing the movie and comparing it to the book.

I read this book as a part of the Lake Orion Adult Battle of the Books. I can't wait to hear what the other participants thought of the book, and find out what the trivia questions will point out.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I don't know why I've never read Jackson. Everyone says this book is terrific!