Sunday, 25 November 2018

We Have Always Lived in The Castle by Shirley Jackson : Book Review

Around about the time when my batch mates were busy getting hyped about Shirley Jackson's Haunting of The Hill House being adapted into a Netflix Series, I decided to read something a bit different. That was when I picked up We Have Always Lived in The Castle

There is something inviting in the creepy cover, two strange sisters being observed by a number of people. The cover resonates with the story itself, a gothic mystery full of a dark aura following the lives of two sisters and their lunatic uncle. The Blackwoods were struck by a tragedy a few years ago, when four members of the family died due to arsenic poisoning. The elder sister Constance has been indoors ever since, her connection with the outer world being her sister Merricat who travels to the town for their daily needs. Every time she goes out, her eyes meet curious eyes, as everyone is aware and doubtful of their tragedy. While some are genuinely concerned about the Blackwoods, most treat them with a mean and attacking attitude.

The book is written in a brilliant narrative, in fairly simple langugage and you keep wondering about what is going on in the mind of the characters. One of the themes explored by Jackson is the 'otherness' of these characters, in a strange house that is almost isolated from the rest of the locality.  You constantly notice their difference and while it at first strikes you as strange, you grow familiar. Judy Oppenheimer, Jackson's biographer observes that in Constance and Merricat we find "the ying and yang of Shirley's own self". Both of them are quite realistic, only that sometimes you see their sanity taken over by something sinister. 

I would certainly want more of Jackson after this, and if you want to grab this book, you can get it here

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review.
    I'm your daily blog visitor, instagram follower also YOUTUBE viewer.