We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Paperback)
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Short Description for 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. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.
- Published: 01 October 2009
- Format: Paperback 176 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780141191454 ISBN 10: 0141191457
- Sales rank: 52,320
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Reviews for We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Everything changes: yet ......
This short novel belongs in the same league as J D Salinger's Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird. Yes, it's really that good. Mary Katherine (Merricat) Blackwood introduces herself with what has to be one of the most stylistically perfect paragraphs in American literature. She tells us, amongst other things, that she likes her sister Constance, Richard Plantagenet and the death cap mushroom, and regrets that she was not born a werewolf. Without flagging in interest or style, she continues over succeeding pages to relate the events of five weeks in her life one New England spring, in doing so gradually revealing how it came about that all of her family other than Constance are dead. The villagers ("The people of the village have always hated us.") believe it was Constance who one day put arsenic in the family sugar bowl. Constance was put on trial, but acquitted for lack of evidence. She had taken care to wash the bowl before the police arrived.
After the trial, Constance and Merricat establish a life of reclusive domesticity in the family mansion. Notwithstanding taunts from the villagers that Connie may try to poison her, Merricat is happy and fears only that their way of life may be changed. Enter Cousin Charles, who has designs on Constance and the family fortune. Merricat's response exacts a terrible price, yet proves a solution of sorts.
In this edition, the afterword by Joyce Carol Oates is interesting and useful , but should definitely be read afterwards, not before, by those who are not already familiar with the story and don't want foreknowledge of how the mystery unfolds. by Andrew Sheppard