We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson – Review


We Have Always Lived In The Castle is the latest, and only the sixth, novel by American writer Shirley Jackson published in 1962.


loved this book. it’s a really beautiful and even short horror / thriller book, I read in two  or three hours. This shows that even short books can be very very beautiful.

The book follows the story of two sisters, Costance and Mary Katherine Blackwood, living in a home away from the town where they stay almost all the time. To live with them is only their uncle now old and sick. In fact, the whole Blackwood family died years after due to poisoning and the three of them are the only survivors. In addition, Mary also has a cat. So their life flows like this, inside the home, at most within their home, so even in the garden. To go to the village is only Mary, twice a week to get food, and she does not like to leave her house. Everything changes when a man arrives. And here I end because I do not want to spoil you.

As already mentioned, the book is short, but very well written, without any hesitation. Jackson goes straight to the point, but at the same time she is very attentive to details, especially in the description, and in Mary’s thoughts, in fact the story is told from her point of view.

The issues are very important. The great theme of persecuting others is really central in this novel. Citizens persecute the two sisters, especially Mary, they aòways stick their nose in Blackwood’s businesses, they invent stories about their self-interest, frightening and absurd stories. This pushes them to close even more in themselves, thus to protect their privacy.

Another theme is that of family and of love. Shirley Jackson grew up with a mother who did not love her and this figure appears very often in her novels. Here too we see a family not very warm, except for Constance and Mary, very close sisters with a strange connection. Mary is a grown-up woman, but she looks like a child. He plays children’s games, believes in spells, witches, ghosts and is always in the company of her cat, with whom she has a strange relationship. He is her only friend, she plays and talks to him. I must say that the cat is really a very disturbing figure. And then there is Constance, who is bigger than her, and behaves like a loving mother to Mary, ignoring the strange things she does.

Another theme is the social division. The Blackwood house is different from the others because it belongs to an elite family, and this division, this wall represented by the gate that divides the Blackwood house from the rest of the town, obviously causes them to be persecuted more.

It’s a book that I recommend a lot. I repeat that it is very quick to read, but not only because it is short, but because it takes you, even from the first WORD this book captures the reader and transports him to the Jackson’s world. Great beautiful book! I recommend it.

Rating: 83/100

And with this also ends this review. As always, I invite you to comment on anything, a question, your opinion. Any. I also invite you to follow my blog, with your wordpress account, or e-mail, or putting I like the facebook page of which you find a window right there.

I leave you the amazon’s links

US: https://amzn.to/2CL4YfW

UK: https://amzn.to/2OtvOiK

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And also Stephen King’ It review, because, as he said himself, Shirley Jackson inspired him all through hi career: It (book) – Review