Sunday, December 27, 2020

Review: We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

 Rating: 5/5

Many of my favourite novels have fantastic opening sentences (Alice Through The Looking Glass and Pride And Prejudice come to mind). I picked up We Have Always Lived In The Castle exactly because of its opening lines.

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead...

 If the playful morbidness of that doesn't draw you in, it probably isn't the book for you.

I loved Merricat as a narrator. The way she views the world around her was so unique and interesting. The central mystery - the sugar pot, the blackberries, the murder - was revealed well, and the story was well-paced and tidily wrapped up. A perfect modern gothic fairytale.

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