We Have Always Lived in the Castle

4.05 avg rating
( 30,188 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780140071078: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiousity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Visitors call seldom at Blackwood House. Taking tea at the scene of a multiple poisoning, with a suspected murderess as one's host, is a perilous business. For a start, the talk tends to turn to arsenic. "It happened in this very room, and we still have our dinner in here every night," explains Uncle Julian, continually rehearsing the details of the fatal family meal. "My sister made these this morning," says Merricat, politely proffering a plate of rum cakes, fresh from the poisoner's kitchen. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson's 1962 novel, is full of a macabre and sinister humor, and Merricat herself, its amiable narrator, is one of the great unhinged heroines of literature. "What place would be better for us than this?" she asks, of the neat, secluded realm she shares with her uncle and with her beloved older sister, Constance. "Who wants us, outside? The world is full of terrible people." Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic, burying talismanic objects beneath the family estate, nailing them to trees, ritually revisiting them. She has made "a powerful taut web which never loosened, but held fast to guard us" against the distrust and hostility of neighboring villagers.

Or so she believes. But at last the magic fails. A stranger arrives--cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune. He disturbs the sisters' careful habits, installing himself at the head of the family table, unearthing Merricat's treasures, talking privately to Constance about "normal lives" and "boy friends." Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods. The result is crisis and tragedy, the revelation of a terrible secret, the convergence of the villagers upon the house, and a spectacular unleashing of collective spite.

The sisters are propelled further into seclusion and solipsism, abandoning "time and the orderly pattern of our old days" in favor of an ever-narrowing circuit of ritual and shadow. They have themselves become talismans, to be alternately demonized and propitiated, darkly, with gifts. Jackson's novel emerges less as a study in eccentricity and more--like some of her other fictions--as a powerful critique of the anxious, ruthless processes involved in the maintenance of normality itself. "Poor strangers," says Merricat contentedly at last, studying trespassers from the darkness behind the barricaded Blackwood windows. "They have so much to be afraid of." --Sarah Waters

About the Author:

Shirley Jackson (1919–1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote many stories as well as six novels and two works of nonfiction.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jackson, Shirley
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
AMAZINGBOOKDEALS
(IRVING, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW. Fast Shipping. Prompt Customer Service. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # 0140071075BNA

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.53
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Jackson, Shirley
Published by Penguin Books (1984)
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # INGM9780140071078

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.14
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Jackson, Shirley
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140071075. Bookseller Inventory # Z0140071075ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 17.25
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Jackson, Shirley
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801400710781.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Jackson, Shirley
Published by Penguin Books (1984)
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140071075

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 23.58
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Jackson, Shirley
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140071075 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0140071075

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.08
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Jackson, Shirley
Published by Penguin Books (1984)
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140071075

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Jackson, Shirley
Published by Penguin Books (1984)
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 224 pages. 8.25x5.00x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0140071075

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 38.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.86
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Jackson, Shirley
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
AussieBookSeller
(Artarmon, NSW, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 12mm x 198mm. Paperback. Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods?until a fatal dose of arsenic foun.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 214 pages. 0.240. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140071078

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 28.00
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Jackson, Shirley
Published by Penguin Books (1984)
ISBN 10: 0140071075 ISBN 13: 9780140071078
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140071075

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 55.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds