Shirley Jackson is one of the best "horror" writers ever and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962) is one of the best covers ever (thanks to artist William Teason). Something about the midnight blue and the girl's hands, her one staring eye and windswept hair, the kitty-cat ears and the title font (so reminiscent of Rorschach's journal) captivate me. Two young sisters, Merricat and Constance Blackwood, and their ill uncle live alone in an old house after the rest of the family had been poisoned years before. Slowly the real story of what happened to the family is revealed and why the townspeople view the Blackwoods with anger and suspicion. I love these kind of subtle chillers with creepy, maybe even murderous, young women as unreliable narrators.
See the black-and-white art of the current paperback edition with a more literal cover. Again, give me the strange evocative painting from the original paperback. "The Lottery" and The Haunting of Hill House are Jackson's more famous works, but We Have Always Lived in the Castle ranks right up there with them. A must-read!
Screenshots: Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973)
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