Book Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson

I didn’t really know what to expect before diving into this little weird read, but I did know that I enjoyed The Haunting Of Hill House and that this was one was meant to be better than that. That was all needed to know!

Goodreads Book Description:

“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.

This book is told from the perspective of Mary Katherine (Merricat) and I found it quiet interesting with it being told this way. She is completely unreliable as a narrator, who is telling the story, her account of it, and it kept me guessing throughout. I couldn’t trust her as a character, I didn’t know what to believe and it made it interesting to read as I kept changing my mind on how I thought the storyline and plot was going to go. She didn’t really understand reality in a way, believing she could escape and go and live on the moon, which possibly just gave her a childlike understanding of things. Even her thought towards people, her stubbornness and her non trusting attitude.

This writing style was amazing as it did keep me intrigued with this story and did a good job building certain characters. You do fall into certain problems when writing from one perspective, especially a strong, unreliable and childlike one of Merricat, and that is that you see the characters through their eyes and that’s how you take them. If they hate them, you’re going to hate them. You don’t get to see them from any other way, only small glimpses from their actions and their words. I would have liked to see some other perspectives, but I do understand the story the necessity of this story being only from the solo point of view.

However, because of this, I did have questions left after I’d finished reading this book, which could’ve got answered simply by having another characters perspective shared. I did really like the ending, it was surprising and I expecting. Maybe every legend has a hint of truth behind it, but also how it spirals out of control.

Published by ShayneysReviews

Hello! My name is Shayney Hardcastle. I am a massive book enthusiast so I created this blog as my own little place where I can write and express my thoughts and review each book I have read. I am 23 and am currently living in a small town in Wales, in the United Kingdom, and love how reading let's me explore the world outside of this small town. I have also recently been sent more and more books and ARC by authors to review and wanted a place to review them that wasn't just on Goodreads and Amazon.

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