Book Review

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson

Rating: 4 / 5

I put WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson as an option for my “book with a building in the title” challenge prompt read in a Bookstagram story poll because I knew I had received a copy last year. Unfortunately after it won the poll I realized I couldn’t find my copy! Thankfully the library had it quickly available in print and on audio!

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE centers on a family haunted by tragedy. Merricat is our central character, a young woman who lives with her sister Constance and their uncle after the rest of her family was all killed. The family is the center of rumors, childhood taunts and a lot of fear and mistrust. As a result the family stays pretty isolated in their old family home.

This is a short read, but the author packs in quite a bit. It is classified as horror and it does bring the gothic and eerie vibes. This did bring in a lot of darkness, both in what happened to the family in the past and the reveals related to that, plus the ugliness of the people in town. The way that Merricat is treated by everyone in town is very gripping.

Merricat was an interesting central character. I did have a hard time judging her age quite often. The synopsis indicates she’s eighteen, but she often reads quite a bit younger. This is likely due to the family’s trauma and isolation.

I overall really enjoyed this and was impressed at how much could be packed into less than 150 pages! I’m definitely glad to tick this off my TBR!

Reading Challenge Categories:

#AroundtheYearin52Books – a book with a building in the title

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