I absolutely love this book. This novel is narrated by eighteen year old Mary Katherine, the younger sister of Constance and mentally unsteady. The sisters are shunned by their town who blames Constance for the murder of her family six years ago. Though acquitted, Constance, Mary Katherine, and Uncle Jullian, their only surviving relative, remove themselves from society and live a life of seclusion and isolation. Through Jackson’s prose, which is eloquent in its simplicity, the reader is exposed to unbearable cruelty of society and the ramifications of that cruelty. There is a constant air of mystery in this book and a haunting creepiness that promises to keep this story on your mind long after the last page. This book is a must read for any Shirley Jackson fans (author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House) and is an excellent first experience to Jackson’s style, themes, and brilliance.
Availability: SMCM Library
Review Submitted by: Lauren Grey (SMCM Alumn ’11)
Rating: Must Read