Hi guys! Today I’m going to do a review of We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I read this book about a month ago, and it gave me a lot to think about. Don’t worry, it’s not scary at all, though some people categorize it as gothic or horror.
The book is told by Mary Katherine Blackwood. She lives in a small town that has an old-fashioned society. The Blackwoods were always seen as odd by the town, but when an event occurred (I can’t say what because spoilers), they were hated. It follows her and her sister as they navigate life in their town, and figure out how to take care of their ailing uncle.
While that might not sound interesting, it has more to it than that, their interactions with villagers and each other, and visitors as well. Mary Katherine is also a very intriguing character.
Mary Katherine is very curious. She is eighteen, but she has not been raised in a traditional way. Their town has a heavy belief in magic and witchcraft, which she takes part in as well.
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.
The plot seems like it has nothing going on with it, but the book actually moves at a fairly quick pace, and there are cleverly placed sentences that make you wonder what’s going on.
The main thing that I really enjoyed about the book was the characters and the writing style. It’s incredibly lyrical and subtly clever as well.
I really enjoyed reading this book, so I’ll give it four stars.
Have you read We Have Always Lived in the Castle? What did you think of it?