Monday, July 9, 2018
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
A short novel by Shirley Jackson. I found this book, though highly recommended, to be just ... weird. I didn't like it at all. It's narrated by Merricat Blackwood, a teenager, (though she comes across as younger, her emotional growth has been stunted). Merrckat, her sister Constance, and their disabled Uncle Julian live together in a large house. Merricat runs their errands in the village, where the villagers treat her with disdain. The rest of the Blackwood family has died through poisoning four years before. Connie had been tried and acquitted for their murders. One day Cousin Charles shows up, a mercenary soul who has heard the rumors that all the Blackwood money is kept in the house. He woos Connie, befriends Julian, threatens Merricat. A fire chases him away and shows the nature of the villagers. (Horrible, all of them.) Merricat and Connie salvage what they can and move into the kitchen, the only inhabitable room. It's an overview of obsession, greed, mob mentality, remorse (on the part of some of the villagers), but it's just weird.