We Have Always Lived in the Castle

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 my family is dead.

With an opening like that, it becomes instantly clear that this is not your average “scary book”, and nor is it even distantly related to the scads of supernatural romances clogging up bookstores in the wake of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a cracked adult’s fairytale; giddy, poisonous and delightful, with one of the most memorable, engaging and unreliable heroines to be found in all literature- imagine Pippi Longstocking all grown up and a tiny bit psycho. I dare you not to become captivated by Merricat and her off-kilter worldview, even a little bit.

Short but not that sweet, this a good one to curl up with on a cold night with a cup of sugarless tea. Lots of delicious shivers!

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