What Emma Read:We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson


First Impressions Before Reading The Book

As a fan of creepy things and horror, I was so intrigued by this book. I’d heard loads of good things about it, but I had no idea what the plot was.

The Plot

Merricat and Constance live in the Blackwood house, which sits alone in a small village, surrounded by walls. Constance never leaves the house, and Merricat doesn’t receive a very warm welcome in the village from the rest of the townspeople. Merricat lives her life around a strict routine, going into the village only on specific days, and checking to make sure that her special wards are still in place, which she believes will protect her and Constance from anything bad happening. They live happily in their routine until their cousin Charles comes to visit. Merricat and Charles don’t take too kindly to each other, and Merricat believes that if she drives him away, she can appease the house and things will go back to normal. But events (which I will not spoil) unfold, and it’s unlikely if Merricat’s world will be the same again.

The Characters

The story is told from youngest sister, Mary Katherine (otherwise known as Merricat) Blackwood’s point of view, however her sister Constance Blackwood is also in most of the novel. Other notable characters are Uncle Julian, whom they live with, and Cousin Charles, who makes an appearance a bit into the book. There’s various other townspeople mentioned, and a few recurring characters however none of them are major characters. Merricat is a bit of a weird character, with various quirks and habits, whereas her sister Constance is sweet and caring. Despite being quite opposites, their love for each other is endearing, and the lengths they go to protect each other is the main focal point of the book.

Would I recommend it?

I feel like only a certain type of person will like this book. If you’re like me and you’re a fan of creepy things, horrors and thrillers, you’ll probably get on well with this. If you like romance novels and live for Disney, i’d give it a miss. It was quite unlike anything else i’ve ever read, and although nothing too crazy or major happened, I found it to be an interesting read. And it’s a really short book, so there’s barely any reasons to not give it a go!

I’ve pledged to read 50 books this year as part of my new years resolution and Goodreads’ 2016 book challenge. This book was book number 5, and I still have a really long way to go before I’m finished!


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