This book is probably one of my all time Favorite books. I even have a tattoo inspired by this story that’s how much it affected me. So I am going to rant about how much I adore this book, just to warn you.
Shirley Jacksons We Have Always Lived In The Castle was her final novel and what I would say is her greatest. It isn’t for everyone, it’s dark and strange. Like virtually all of her books.
The story follows Mary Kathrine “American”her sister Constance and there ailing uncle Julian, the only survivors of their mass murdered family. Reclused in there huge family home and despised by all the village people.
Excluding the Village people, there life is perfect until an unexpected visitor ruins their.. Or Merricats peace. Merricat must do everything in her power to protect her family, no matter the outcome.
Merricat is no normal girl, her family is far from normal, her mind set is that of pure hatred and anxierty. She is at time unlikeable, scary and sick. She is also engrossing, clever and quick thinking. She is at times so innocently cute, This makes her one of the most unique characters of any book.
The writing of this book is magical. It’s in first person through the eyes of Merricat and the detail she goes into when daydreaming about her perfect world on the moon is mesmerising. The way she speaks with such intensity about the going on holds you hostage. For me I can relate to Merricats daydreaming in times of anxiety. In ways I could relate to her, which made me like her as a character a lot Her anger and hatred at times was scary, her way with dealing with situations extreme, making her unlikeable… Such a strange character!
Unfortunately there is not much I can say without ruining it. It’s a short read at 146 pages long. But it’s a book that has stuck with me, like many horror lovers before me. Neil Gaimen was inspired by Shirley Jackson and you can see it.
It’s not for everyone, if you don’t like strange or horror, you probably will not like it. But at 146 pages all I can say is try it, and let me know what you think!
Have you read it before? What did you think? What did you think of our unusual protagonist?