We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a novel written by Shirley Jackson that was published in 1962. Thnovel would be her last, as she passed away just three years later.
The story is about two sisters and their uncle, who live in an old mansion on the outskirts of a small town. The rest of the family died under mysterious and suspect circumstances, to which the townspeople all blame the sisters. The townspeople enjoy gossiping about the sisters being murderers, and guessing what other acts of depravity they might have committed.
The younger sister, Merricat, is the only one who leaves the house and endures the taunts of the townspeople. Her older sister, Constance, stays at their home hidden from the public eye. That leaves their uncle, Julian, who is bound to a wheelchair and not of a sound mind.
As the story progresses, other people come to visit the sisters with different outcomes each time. The visits build up to the climax of the book, where much comes to light. That's all that can be said without giving a lot away.
I was initially interested in reading this book because of the author's role in the Southern Gothic genre. The book started off kind of slow, and really maintained it through the rest of the book. But the slow turns into a slow burn, and the slow burn built tension to unknown heights.
What started as something simple and sweet turned to a horrifying glimpse into the sinister, idle minds of small town America.
Read this book if you'd like. But you've been warned.
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