Great spooky story!
Constance, Mary Katherine and Uncle Julian all live in Blackwood House. The house and all the land owned by the family are enclosed by fences and a locked gate keeps the local villagers out. Years before, the other members of the family died from poisoning and Constance was put on trial for their deaths. She was acquitted, and the three have lived shut up in the old house ever since. Occasionally Mary Katherine, or Merricat as her sister calls her, goes to town to buy food and supplies. The villagers don't like them. Kids taunt her with catcalls. Adults make comments about poison and murder. They are shunned. Merricat doesn't really care....she spends her days in the woods and wants everything kept the same. Her parents things where they belong. Everything in the house where it belongs. Nothing changed. Then cousin Charles arrives. Merricat knows he's up to something....he isn't to be trusted. And he brings change. What can she do to make him just go away?
This story is twisted, strange and delightfully horrifying. Shirley Jackson's writing is subtle. Everything is there....but the horrific truths build slowly in the background. And just when you think you know what's going to happen....the tale takes an unexpected turn in the other direction. I had to read the ending of this book twice to let it all sink in. The story is perfectly written and ends just as strangely as it begins.
Every town has a house with a story....a place or people that are avoided because of a tragedy, crime or whatever gossip fits the local tale. In this particular village, it's Blackwood House. The gossip and truth slowly merge by the end, and the ending is perfect.
I'm so glad I finally read this book! It's a chilling and strange tale....great read!