Are you still in the mood for a spooky story post-Halloween? Put down “The Raven” or “The Shining” – booksellers have a different book for you.
In a survey of booksellers by industry newsletter Shelf Awareness, Shirley Jackson’s 1962 novel “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” was the most-recommended. “Castle” centers on the Blackwood family, who live in a big house near a village. Protagonist Merricat, her sister Constance, and her uncle Julian live there after the death of Merricat and Constance’s parents and other relatives. When Merricat and Constance’s cousin Charles arrives, the family’s lives are disrupted and long-buried secrets are revealed.
Jackson is often remembered for her short story “The Lottery” and is also the author of the novels “The Haunting of Hill House” and “The Sundial” as well as the memoir “Life Among the Savages,” among other work.
Jen Catlin of the San Diego and Redondo Beach, Calif. bookstore Mysterious Galaxy told Shelf Awareness, “This story has haunted me for years. It is one of the most compellingly creepy stories I have ever read,” while Tracy Wynne of the Rhinebeck, N.Y. bookstore Oblong Books and Music said of the novel, “Jackson was the master of creating an eerie and unsettling atmosphere where her stories would unfold. Her writing makes you want to hold your breath until whatever that is has gone past your door.”