Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Title:  We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Author:  Shirley Jackson

Published:  1962

# of Pages:  160

ISBN:  978-0143039976

My Rating:  5/5

I loved this book.  LOVED it.  I was way surprised by my enjoyment of it, too, because I do not typically read books like this – but there you have it, I found it to be fabulous.  

I want to tell you everything about We Have Always Lived in the Castle, because it’s super awesome, but I think it’s better if you know very little about the book going in.  So I’ll just tell you what you learn in the first few pages – the book’s narrator is Mary Katherine (or Merricat – what a cute nickname, btw!), and she lives in her family’s huge, old house with her older sister Constance and their Uncle Julian who is wheelchair-bound and not all there mentally.  The rest of their family is dead. 

That’s all you get, that’s all I’m going to share with you.  Some other reviews I’ve read contain more spoiler-y synopses but I think you should just run right out and read the book instead of learning more about it.  The story is intriguing – Jackson keeps you guessing the whole way through, the ambiance is subtly creepy (not like stuff pops out at you or people die gory deaths, but like there’s this weirdness about the whole thing that you just can’t figure out), and the characters are AWESOME.  Awesome in creepy ways, in some cases, and awesome in that I love them, in other cases.  And the writing.  My goodness – Jackson is so freaking talented.  Every sentence, every word, is just perfectly placed.  Nothing is a smidgen out of place, the entire book just goes along so smoothly, it’s really remarkable.

And now I’m just going to stop gushing and strongly encourage you all to read the book for yourselves.  You won’t be disappointed.

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18 thoughts on “Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle”

  1. I am the odd man out with this one… I read a review of it on “books i done read” and I thought “Oh, I must read this book!” and I did… and it just wasn’t for me:( I feel like I’m out of the loop or something, because everyone raves about it, but I guess it just wasn’t my style. I will say that it was a very unsettling book and left me feeling uneasy, which I guess not a lot of books can do for me, but other than that, just not for Teale:)

    1. That’s okay, Teale, I feel that way about certain books too. In this case, I totally did not expect to like it but it just blew me away for some reason. I’m glad that you read it, though, because now you know that it just wasn’t for you!

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