We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Book - 2006
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We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2006
ISBN: 9780143039976
Characteristics: xii, 146 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Lethem, Jonathan


From Library Staff

Book of the Week, December 9: “I stood on the library steps holding my books...and wishing, as I always did, that I could walk home across the sky instead of through the village.” Why read cheery, festive novels this time of year when you can read a dark and delightful classic by the great Shirle... Read More »

Mentioned in "A Head Full of Ghosts" by Paul Tremblay

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Mar 03, 2021

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book with a black and white cover. I am not impressed with this author. frankly she scares me a little (she also wrote the lottery) however, i understand she is a good writer and popular with some audiences. one thing is for sure you will remember her books for a long time. this book is also on listopia's 300 books everyone should read once.

SAPL_Teens Jan 20, 2021

This is a re-read for the seventh time now for me. Shirley Jackson has always been a favourite author of mine. I love how her stories hold a grotesque horrible side with them with a relatively easy-to-follow plot line. This story is about two sisters that live in a house with their uncle. Merricat Blackwood, our protagonist, is the only member of the household to leave and go into the city. Her older sister Constance has a niche for cooking and spends her days doing that. Whenever Merricat goes into town she is met with hostile looks and snide comments. This is because of a dark rumour that follows the members of the Blackwood house. A murder, a poisoning, a heartless task performed by Constance. But there’s much more to the story than that. I always get a rush out of Shirley Jackson’s novels and are never bored when reading her books. This story is relatively short and so doesn’t take much time to read. I recommend it to all my friends and fellow readers. This book will not disappoint. 5/5 stars - SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

AnnabelleLee27 Jan 17, 2021

A dream-like tale; dark, twisty, disturbing and one that definitely stays with you even after you put it down. Themes of madness, family, secrets, sisterhood, agency, and isolation all colliding as the sisters seek to survive in a hostile world.

LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 11, 2021

This book was a roller coaster ride despite not being all that long. I don't usually read horror/thriller but this wasn't too bad because there was nothing that was actually that scary so it didn't keep me up at night except for you know... when it blew my mind.

Look did I figure out who really did it pretty much straight away yes but that was so far from the point. I loved how they had fun with visitors and Constance just watched on bemused, even playing into it at some points.

I felt sorry for Constance because everyone just kept demanding everything of her and she just took it. I wonder how she felt living with her remaining family knowing what she did. I'm still trying to boggle how that fits with her doormat identity.

I'm not sure what Charles role was aside from coming in and making Merricat explode. I mean you would have to be a man to be dumb enough to live with that child and think you could just take care of things if they escalated. She spends her days hiding in the woods and burying things.

Also I don't know if it was clear what exactly started everything? Like Marricat was send to bed without dinner? Was that it? Maybe I missed the blip that provided a deeper explanation. To be fair I did skim her visit to the summer house.

I kind of loved the ending where they become this ghost story although my logical brain can't stop asking the questions: What are they going to do when they're sick? What happens when they die and stop taking the offerings? Why is the community treating them so well now? I need more information!

Jan 08, 2021

I kept waiting for something to happen in Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lined in the Castle”. The characters were great, the setting and relationships weird, tension waiting to build, but except for one scene nothing happens. In the end I found it boring, felt it went nowhere and was a waste of my time.

Nov 30, 2020

I just didn't like this book. I felt it was so disjointed. Nothing flowed for me. It felt, at times, ridiculous. I finished it but begrudgingly. lol...

AndreaG_KCMO Oct 26, 2020

The psychological drama of Shirley Jackson's work held me spellbound even at the end of my spooky-house-stories streak.

Oct 22, 2020

Creepy and atmospheric and just excellent. Good time of the year to check this one out.

Sep 24, 2020

This book is excellent. However, DO NOT read the Introduction to this book if you've not read the book before. It spoils the entire plot and is utterly unnecessary.

Sep 17, 2020

strange and wonderful book.

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May 20, 2010

christilini thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

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 our family is dead.


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