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

We Have Always Lived in the CastleWe Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now THIS is a horror story. I find characters that are human, that could be real infinitely scarier than ones that aren’t. That isn’t to say that whatever your imagination comes up with isn’t frightening. It’s just that characters that are human, that can exist, that have such thinking that makes them believe that what they’re doing is right or rational can inflict infinitely more damage than zombies that don’t exist.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a story that gets creepier as you go along. Almost every article about this book will tell you how this follows Jackson’s favorite theme of otherness, of the perils of small-town unimind thinking (as exemplified in her chilling short story, The Lottery). But it’s more than that; it’s psychological horror story interwined with family bonds, where our protagonist, our lovely unreliable narrator, Merricat possibly suffers from psychosis, where poor uncle Julian Constance exhibits another from almost dying, and Constance is either a victim of a guilty conscience, a bendable will, or some form of Stockholm Syndrome. This is all my first bite on a first reading though, I didn’t read as closely as I could for more detail.

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