Shirley Jackson is so good at taking us inside the heads of characters who really don’t fully understand how disturbed they are, and neither do we, until we do. And that a-ha moment, when clarity hits. This story leaves me with even more questions about what is real or not and fascinated with the dynamics between individual characters, their family unit, and between them and the townsfolk. And maybe it’s because I was reading Carpe Jugulum at the same time, I couldn’t help thinking of
those final scenes in terms of classic stories of villagers becoming a howling mob with torches and pitchforks to storm the castle where the monster lives. Or maybe that was intentional on the author's part. The girls in their isolation in that big old house with their almost mythic backstory of murder really kind of fit the monster in the castle and angry, frightened villagers, don't they?
Audiobook via Audible. Bernadette Dunn’s performance is as outstanding as it was for The Haunting of Hill House.
Although technically a ghost story, the real horror for me is the sense of creeping dread and isolation and loneliness as the last man left in the endless night of an arctic camp. Most chilling of all is the man’s horror at contemplating the afterlife should he perish there and become a ghost himself – not just a winter of endless night alone, but an eternity.
Audiobook via Audible. Jeremy Northam proves he’s as wonderful an audio narrator as he is an actor, which certainly isn’t true of everyone.
This could have been a much better book with a 75% reduction in Romance. And I do mean Romance with a capital R. Including the tortured Hero and shy, plain, Heroine who doesn’t realize that she’s actually pretty and despairs over having a great big jiggly bosom when 1920’s fashion is cut for boobless figures. Because what man would find big boobs attractive?!?
Still, the ghost story and murder mystery stuff were good enough to overcome all that. If I gave half-stars on ratings this would be 3 ½ so I rounded up to 4 stars.
Audiobook via Audible, with performance by Pamela Garelick, who did a great job on pacing and voicing the characters. Not sure how she did on the sex scenes, I FFed through those.
Thanks to Murder by Death for the book/author rec. This is the second Simone St. James book I’ve read, since you rec’d this book to me, and I have a third (An Inquiry Into Love and Death) on my TBR.