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We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

I started We Have Always Lived in the Castle knowing very little about it—just the book description, really. It sounded interesting enough, and the cover was intriguing, so I decided to give it a go for my spooky reading month. It's not fantasy, and thus isn't my usual read, but I make exceptions sometimes if the premise is interesting enough.

First off, let me say that if you pick up this copy of this book, don't read the Introduction unless you want spoilers. Past experience saved me from such things and I left it until the end, and was glad I did. I get it, the book's been out for eighty years. That still doesn't mean I want someone to ruin the story for me.

As for the story itself, I'll start by saying that if you're into strange, somewhat unsettling stories, you may like this one. It's set in our own world and is told from the point of view of a young woman named Mary Katherine. She lives with her sister, Constance, and their uncle, Julian, in their house, being the only surviving members of their family.

The story gets progressively more unsettling the further you go. I won't say more than that because I'm not the sort who likes to give spoilers. I'll leave it at: the story is strange and the characters are strange. It's a short read, though, and as a fantasy author, it left me thinking about the nature of heroes and villains. Mary Katherine (Merricat) also performs her own sort of homemade witchcraft, which was interesting (though it's never called that).

Overall, it was an interesting read, though not a favorite.

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