We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Author: Shirley Jackson | Published: 1962

Oh my gosh this was so unexpectedly good! Another book that I’m not real sure how I found. Originally published in 1962, it’s touted in bookish thriller threads as a classic thriller must read. The book was adapted into a movie last year. After my last foray into reading a supposed ‘classic’, (see: The Wine Dark Sea😫), I’m surprised I even moved forward reading it. I’m super happy I did.

The book starts a bit slow, though intriguing. Through a teenage girl’s perspective, you begin to learn about a very well to do family in a small working class town. The oldest member and apparently well liked member of the community, was recently poisoned to death. The town, as judge and jury, has deemed the teenagers older sister as the murderer, though a real court room did not condemn her, but, judged it an accident. Sometimes, judgement by our peers is far worse than any courtroom could deliver. 

The teenage girl telling the story has a super imagination (which is refreshing in an 18yo but telling of our times considering the lack of imagination someone of that age has today.) and we are immediately pulled into her world of secret spells and rituals that she believes keep her and her family safe from the towns ridicule. You get the impression they would have lived like this forever, happy enough, until a distant cousin comes to town. He wants to date the older sister and probably take advantage of the families remaining wealth. 

The twist in this story is easy to decipher after the fact. I became so involved with tug of war between the cousin and everyone, the murderer slipped by me! I’m starting to become a real fan of well written physiological thrillers. Scare me and surprise me, I’m here for it! #GoodBook Book 8 of 36!

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