Monday, September 9, 2019

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Even if you don't realize it, you've probably read something by Shirley Jackson. The Lottery is one of those short stories many of us read in high school or college that left an indelible print on our psyche. "Winning the lottery is a good thing! Ooooh…... wait!!"

If you remember that, you won't be surprised by all the raving reviews of Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It is called a masterpiece, creepy, haunting, and it goes on and on. This story begins with Mary Katherine Blackwood walking through her town, doing the shopping, and wanting to be back at home as quickly as possible. The people of the town hate her and her family and we slowly find out why. We meet Mary Katherine's sister Constance, her cat Jonas, and her Uncle Julian. They all live in a big house outside of town where something sinister happened one evening six years earlier.

I had such hopes for this book and by looking at the reviews you would think it would be amazing. Perhaps my expectations were raised too much. Maybe I missed something important. It could be this just isn't my genre, but whatever the cause I just really didn't like this book. It took me days to get into it- every time I picked it up I would start to get sleepy. Then once I forced myself through the first half, the second went much quicker, mostly because I was determined to get to the part everyone said was so amazing. I kept expecting a massive twist, a huge reveal that would shake me to my core. Sadly, it never came. I got to the last page and was very disappointed. It was okay; it just didn't deliver on the promised excitement.

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