I'm finishing up Shirley Jackson's WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE. Like everyone else, I read "The Lottery" growing up. Since I started my WIP, I've been reading a lot of classic thrillers/horror novels. THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL was the first of Jackson's novels that I read. It was just as creepy and amazing as CASTLE. Jackson's unreliable narrators take you on this ride, where at first things are scary, and not as they seem, and you try to figure out what's really going on. Then, there's the long narrative space that feels like simultaneously watching a car crash happen and being in the car as it crashes. At the end, you've returned to a farther distance, unable to look away from all the smashed up cars and bodies.
I need to look up Jackson's birthday and start the movement for a National Shirley Jackson Day, because she is that amazing.
The third of the third: "I watched her."
Today's third obviously proves there are limitations to the game. Here are the next two lines:
"On Saturday morning, after Helen Clarke had come to tea, Constance looked at the driveway three times. Uncle Julian was not well on Saturday morning, after tiring himself at tea, and stayed in his bed in his warm room next to the kitchen, looking out of the window beside his pillow, calling now and then to make Constance notice him."
Three sentences from the third chapter gives you just enough to sense the atmosphere of the book. But if you're uncertain whether or not you'd be interested in reading, check out the last two sentences of the first paragraph of the novel:
"I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the deathcup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead."
These two lines just blow me away. I'm putting off the other books that I had planned to read to continue to read Jackson. Next up is THE SUNDIAL.