BOOK REVIEW: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

BOOK REVIEW: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
by Shirley Jackson


ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

Shirley Jackson’s beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat and her family’s dark secret

Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate. This edition features a new introduction by Jonathan Lethem.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


Four members of the Blackwood family mysteriously die one evening. They are survived by Mary Katherine “Merricat” who was sent to her room without supper that night, her sister Constance and their Uncle Julian. Constance had been accused of poisoning the family and the surviving family members were outcasts in the community ever since. One day their cousin Charles arrives out of the blue and life as they know it changes forever.

I don’t know why but this cover kept calling to me for weeks until I finally picked up this book. It’s a short book, just 150 pages or so, and the story is captivating.  The reading “flow” was a little bit of a challenge for me, but that may just be Shirley Jackson’s style that I’m not used to because I’ve never read anything else by her.  

The story is mysterious and suspenseful.  I recommend it if you like dark fiction.

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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