Review: We have always lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
- maart 16, 2021
- Cindy Pel
My first read of Shirley Jackson. After watching the haunting of Hill House last year, I got familiar with Shirley Jackson. Even that I have not read that book yet, I saw. We have always lived in the castle in the bookstore, and the cover was just so pooling at me I needed to buy it. A short novel with about 146 pages: now that I had gone back to the office again, this was a perfect read to take with me to work and read when I wasn’t busy. In a weekend of reading, I flew through this book. Today I share my thoughts with you about: We have always lived in the castle. If you are curious, read the text below, and I hope you enjoy it.
“ Merricat, said Constance, would you like a cup of tea? Merricat, said Constance, would you like to go to sleep? Oh, no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.”
The story goes about Mary Katherine and her sister Constance. Together they live in the Blackwood house with their uncle Julian and Jonas, the cat. This family always lived here, and in the house, you will find tressures of generations on generations. The sisters’ Blackwood does not go out of their property quite a lot. Only Mary Katherine, or most known as Merricat, goes to the local town twice a week to get their groceries.
These two sisters without parents, but why? The parents of the two girls are dead. Constance was suspected of being the one who killed the others. She always cooks. For that reason, Constance can go not into the village and even that they do not harm Mary Katherine, it isn’t save for her too.
One day their cousin Charles comes for a visit, a moment when their changing things in the Blackwood house. Merricat dislikes Charles, and he knows that. She has to learn the hard way, but she is a tough one. She is Merricat, and she lives on the moon.
“You will be wondering about that sugar bowl, I imagine. Is it still in use? You are wondering: has it been cleaned? You may very well ask: was it thoroughly washed?”
We have always lived in the castle; I have loved this read. Is this my year of reading many good books and getting new favourites? This book is written out of Mary Katherine’s prospect, and for that reason, I think it is a nice, easy and understandable book to read. I did read the penguin classic deluxe edition, where there are only 146 pages. For me, this book could have had just more. I was not quite finished with the story yet. I want to know more. That is also what makes a good read; there is no real ending. You will close the book with still just so many questions, and nobody will ever know the answers to their own questions. It leaves you with so much imagination.
About the book itself. As you could have read above, I have enjoyed myself while reading this book. The personages are so well written.
The stubbornness of uncle Julian and the fact that he is old but survived the food poisoning accident gives him a lovely character. He is trying to write his book, a book of his life, until the day of the “dead’s”. Even though he is old and his memory is not what it used to be about some things, he is still sharp knows to look through people. To see the real them.
Constance is the sweetest sister you could wish for. She has no easy life. For the last six years, she is hiding and has not come into town and meet other people, except for the tea lady. She got the blame for the poisoning, but there was not enough proof in court, so she was free to go. She can make the best cookies, pie, cake and much more. But the most important fact is that she loved her sister.
Mary Katherine or Merricat is a young woman with a free spirit, and her head makes the most beautiful memories. She is home, home together with her sister, who she loved very much. She doesn’t like other people. She wishes them even that. She dislikes washing, dogs and noise.
Then we have cousin Charles Blackwood; I hated him. Even when writing about him, he makes me so angry. I could kill him. The same counts for Merricat; she hates him too. First, he looks kind and especially through Constance, who he calls “Connie”. Julian doesn’t trust him either, he is still a son of his brother, and he is not trustable. Further in the book, you will find the reasons for being in the Blackwood manner and probably hate him.
Overall I have no bad things to say about the book. It did make me angry sometimes, but that was more about how some characters would handle, the same for the sweet things and hilarious memes of the sisters. There is one thing I only did not really get. At the begin of the book, Shirley tells the age of the sisters. Throughout the book, for me, Mary Katherine sounds much younger than the age Shirley gave her. In my own thoughts, I thought that maybe that is because she has a mental disability and acts younger than she really is.
I wonder have you read We have always lived in the castle by Shirley Jackson and if you did what is your opinion on the book.
Have a wonderful day
Lots of love