Author: Shirley Jackson
Book Description: 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. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.
I have heard of this book countless of times, but never got my hands on it. Until now, thanks to one of my sister’s friends, who decided to buy this for Christmas.
The story is extremely intriguing, as it talks about a strange eighteen years old girl (it reminds me of myself, only that I am nineteen now), Merricat, who lived in a huge house with her sister and her sick uncle. Six years ago, when whole family was dining, the sugar was poisoned with arsenic. Four people died. Her sick uncle, even though poisoned, survived. He now talks only about that night, and keeps notes about what happened. Her sister, who is agoraphobic, was the one who cooked the dinner, therefore she is seen as the culprit in front of the villagers.
That’s why the family prefer to stay closed, avoiding almost every other human contact. Merricat, who had not been eating dinner, because she had been punished, is the only link between the family and the outside world. And she absolutely hates it, as the villagers hate her family (half of them were dead). The real horror tied with this book is its’ reality. The villagers want the remaining family to die; they want them to be burned. Meredith imagines the villagers dead, as she walks past them. Again, I can’t reveal all, because you need to read the book to truly understand it.
Merricat is a character written with such precision, such reality, and you slowly see yourself taking her side.
This book is engrossing, but you don’t understand until the end how much disturbing, twisted, and sinister it is.