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Jennifer's Books




Currently reading

Their Lost Daughters
Joy Ellis, Richard Armitage
Progress: 30%
Hercule Poirot's Early Cases
Agatha Christie
Progress: 195/250pages
Without Pity: Ann Rule's Most Dangerous Killers
Ann Rule
Progress: 172/433pages

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson, Thomas Ott, Jonathan Lethem

Wow. What a way to start off the year. This was an excellent book.

I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling anything, but this book while not outright scary was certainly plenty unsettling. We are set down in the middle of the lives of Merricat Blackwood, her agoraphobic sister, Constance, and their ailing Uncle Julian. The three are pretty much the village pariahs and have been since the remaining members of their immediate family died due to arsenic poisoning. Since then, Merricat only makes trips into town out of necessity (and has to face the taunts and jeers of the villagers who feel that Constance got away with murder), Constance (who was charged, but acquitted of the poisonings) won't venture further than her beloved garden, and Julian (a survivor of the poisoning), now weak in body and mind obsessively makes notes about the fateful night for a book he's writing.

The delicately balanced life the three have shared for the past six years is upset by the arrival of a cousin, Charles Blackwood.

The author does a fantastic job of setting the mood, you never quite feel comfortable while reading as a general sense of unease begins to gradually amp up to the book's climax.

I won't really say more than that for fear of spoiling, and this is definitely a book best read when one knows as little about the plot as possible.