We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Pros: spooky, sweet, I loved the main character and all her little quirks Cons: Jackson always leaves me wanting more

Also, please enjoy my GoodReads review and follow me there if you'd like! This review is a great summary of all the things I plan to discuss at length below.


This book was my second read by Shirley Jackson; the first one being The Haunting of Hill House. I kind of read them in tandem so even though I started this one second, I finished it first so it gets a review first.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, I thought it was endearing, sweet, spooky and saturated with characters and circumstances that I responded well to.This is another short read so I will not be doing a deep dive on this one. I like to pull my punches when it comes to shorter books so that you can build your own opinion.



The story follows a little girl named Merricat, her sister Constance and her somewhat senile uncle Julian. They live in an old mansion on a hill, on the outskirts of a town filled with people who hate them. The rest of their family have passed away, but more on that later. As the story starts out, you aren't sure why the townspeople hate Merricat and her family, you just know they do and that they aren't shy about it.

As the story continues, you notice that Merricat is a bit odd and slightly paranoid due to the townfolk and the way they revere them. People sneak up to the house, throw things, whisper as she passes them on the street. Merricat is determined to keep herself safe through random rituals she makes up and constant daydreams of going to live on the moon where it's safe and everything is good and no one can hurt them. Like I said, I loved this little girl right away. Her sister, Constance is portrayed as the more frail of the two, yet somehow she is also the one who cooks and cares for Merricat and Uncle Julian. Julian goes in and out of lucidity as he tries to make sense of things and figure out where everyone has gone to.

The book goes on and introduces a few more characters and situations. It was overall such a fun, spooky, sweet and unsettling read. Shirley has a way of doing that. She pulls you in, makes you feel at home and then creeps you the heck out. I loved it.



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