09 May, 2012

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)

There is a lurking, unspoken malevolence in this book that I just love. There is a simplicity of language that lifts Mary Katherine Blackwood above most other fictional characters I have encountered. There is a mystery that isn't really a mystery at all. There are themes of small-town ostracism, violence and atonement. And there is an ending that should be sad and disturbing but isn't. But most of all there is a wish to read more of Jackson's work – a desire I rarely have with any author.

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