Posts Tagged ‘Shirley Jackson’

I had a hard time answering Augusts meme (what is your favorite classic?) because I just couldn’t pick one. I started drafts for Dracula, Anne of Green Gables, Gone With The Wind, and Frankenstein. I then realized I could start drafts for about a million more so I decided to skip that meme for now. I may try to revisit it later, perhaps after I have read more of the titles on my list. Septembers meme is:

Pick a classic someone else in the club has read from our big review list. Link to their review and offer a quote from their post describing their reaction to the book. What about their post makes you excited to read that classic in particular?

I think I can handle Septembers meme and I’m even going to answer it in the first few days of the month. For this post I have selected Charlotte’s review of We Have Always Lived in the Castle from her blog Charlotte Reads Classics.

There is a hint of madness throughout the whole book which Jackson never fully explains, of course making the book all the more terrifying.

I have been very excited to read this book since last fall when I read Jackson’s other terrifying tale, The Haunting of Hill House. I enjoyed Hill House but I was a little more intrigued by the premise of Castle but my local library didn’t have a copy of it. This is one of the books on my R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril list for this year and I was already very eager to read it, but after reading Charlotte’s review, I’m chomping at the bit to get my hands on a copy. Having moved to a new county, I was hoping that this new library might have a copy of it, but they didn’t either, but I did discover that it is for sale as a nook book for $13.

I didn’t know a great deal about the book before reading Charlotte’s review, just that there are two orphaned children who are left on their own and have to fend for themselves and craziness ensues. One act of “craziness” that Charlotte touches on is the fact that one of the sisters attempts to protect the girls and their home by nailing familial possessions to the trees around the home as a kind of charm to ward off evil. Another excellent point that Charlotte brought up is that the story has added spook to me, as an American, because it is set in the woods. Charlotte points out after a conversation with her father that in England they view forest settings in a different way than we as Americans do. When Englanders read a story set in the woods, it’s not deep and dark and creepy, but rather they associate it with a quiet, peaceful country setting.

Charlotte leaves us with the fact that she found both of Jackson’s books to be “disturbing” and that Jackson has a way of leaving the reader feeling that way “because she controls the reader like no other author. Enthralling, mysterious, fatal.” I am so excited to get to this book! Thanks, Charlotte for your great review!


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