Book Review for “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson


I decided to begin my spooky season reads with We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. My brother loved this book and told me I needed to read it so, here I am. This book seems to be loved by most but unfortunately, I’m in the vast minority because I hated it. This review will be spoiler free.


Shirley Jackson’s masterpiece: the deliciously dark and funny story of Merricat, tomboy teenager, beloved sister – and possible lunatic.

“Her greatest book …at once whimsical and harrowing, a miniaturist’s charmingly detailed fantasy sketched inside a mausoleum…Through depths and depths and bloodwarm depths we fall, until the surface is only an eerie gleam high above, nearly forgotten; and the deeper we sink, the deeper we want to go”. (Donna Tartt, author of The Goldfinch).

Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn’t leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect the remaining family.

My Thoughts:

  • Rating-

This book was shockingly boring. It was one of those stories that I had to force myself to concentrate on and fell asleep while reading it multiple times. It took me weeks to finish, despite it only being 158 pages long.

To sum the story up, one sister is very mentally ill and the other dedicates her life to taking care of her. Oh, and everybody in the town, except for like four people, are terrible. That’s it. We Have Always Lived in the Castle could have been half as long and still told the same story.

Final Thoughts:

I know this book is beloved but I just don’t understand why. If slow paced (like a turtle’s pace) and weird vibes are your thing, maybe try it out. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought about it. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

5 thoughts on “Book Review for “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson

      1. I just didn’t like it because the writing was bad and the over abundance of pop culture things. I think a better sci fi / vritual reality book series was Otherland series. The books are very long but the writer doesn’t insult your intellegence , and handles the cyberpunk thriller /virtual reality alot better.

        Liked by 1 person

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