Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - Book Review

We have Always Lived in the Castle
BookWe Have Always Lived in the Castle
AuthorShirley Jackson
Genre: Fiction
Publisher/Publish DatePenguin Classics / 1962
Source: Public Library
Pages: 146
Rating: 4/5
GoodReads  •  Amazon

Dark, melodic and poetic, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, tells the story of two sisters and their wheelchair bound uncle who live together in the house where the rest of their family died. I don't want to give too much away, but fairly early in the book you learn that one of the sisters was accused and tried for poisoning 4 family members. They live on a large peice of property that they have closed off to the world, and only one of them ever leaves, to pick up groceries on her bi-weekly. They have a couple family friends who visit them, but other than that, they have closed themselves off to a world they find hostel.

I wasn't familiar with Jackson's writing but was recommended it, and was glad I picked it up to read. The copy that I got not only have a pretty awesome cover by Thomas Ott (see above), but also a great introduction by Jonathan Lethem that informed my about Jackson as an author. Lethem explains that parts of Jackson's personality highly influences these characters, helping me appreciate the story better.

Jackson is best known for her short story, The Lottery, so if you are curious, that would be a good start into reading this author. I highly recommend this book, and it's short, so doesn't take too long to read.

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