book review

We Have Always Lived in the Castle- Review

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.
-Goodreads Synopsis

Author: Shirley Jackson

My Rating: 5/5

My Favourite Quote: “I remember that I stood on the library steps holding my books and looking for a minute at the soft hinted green in the branches against the sky and wishing, as I always did, that I could walk home across the sky instead of through the village.”

I honestly don’t quite know how to describe this book, but what ever it is, it is wonderful. I have had this book on my list to buy and read for such a long time, and I’m so glad to have read it!

This is one of the most compelling, strange, and interesting books I’ve read in years. The atmosphere is so well crafted. It takes place in a small town and centers around a wealthy family who are not well liked in the community for reasons which soon become clear. There is one scene where Merricat is walking through town and the sense of anxiety and claustrophobia is so well done. I felt as though I was in her shoes, and just wanted her to start running through the town!

I so look forward to reading more of Shirley Jackson’s work. The tone of this book was so priggish, and purposely stuffy which I think adds a great depth to this book. I really would love to have a conversation about this book and I think this would be a wonderful book club book ,as there are just so many aspects that could be discussed!

This book is a legitimate page turner, which for me to find in a classic book is an amazing find. It also doesn’t have the problem that many very well known books have where the become so culturally relevant the plot seems almost obvious. For example, I love Rosemary’s baby- it’s a great book, but because it is so well known the plot seems quite obvious, which I’m sure wouldn’t have been the case when it was first published.

My edition of the book is a penguins classic deluxe edition and it begins with a preface which I think is read best after the book. I read it before reading the book itself and while it didn’t ruin the book at all, I think it would have been a slightly better reading experience if I had waited (my bad), so I thought I’d give you guys a heads up! I do want to say that, I love my edition of this book. The cover is just so wonderful and gives you a hint of the tone of the book.

I honestly think this will now be on my list of favourite books now! If you are looking for an interesting, compelling read this one is for you!

If you have also read this book, I’d really love to hear your thoughts!


19 thoughts on “We Have Always Lived in the Castle- Review”

  1. I loved this book! I read an essay that this book was written as an example of how a house becomes haunted, and her book ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ was an example of a house that just IS haunted. So as soon as I finished ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ i read Hill House. it was good also, but I preferred Castle. I want to read more by her and ABOUT her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, that’s such an interesting idea! I am also really excited to read The Haunting of Hill House!
      I would also love to know a bit more about her!
      The preface of my book mentioned that she herself suffered from agoraphobia and if true, I can certainly understand how she was able to capture the feeling of anxiety so well!


  2. This has been on my “to read” list for a long time. I will definitely move it up now!
    Also, I’m curious, I was checking out your instagram and didn’t see any of Maggie Stiefvater. Have you read any of her ya? It seems right up your alley!

    Liked by 1 person

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