My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sisters Constance and Merricat live in their sheltered family estate with Uncle Julian, away from the prying eyes and gossips of the nearby village who want to know what really happened the night the rest of the Blackwood family was poisoned by arsenic in the sugar bowl.
First thoughts: So creepy! And mysterious. And suspenseful. Who do we trust? What is real? The story is dream-like in places. A little magical. A lot macabre.
Spoiler-y: Unless I missed a major plot point, I was convinced that eventually we would find out that the sisters had been dead the entire time. The story is disturbing enough without that turn of events.
Shirley Jackson...sounds familiar: Remember "The Lottery"? Yeah, Jackson's got disturbing locked down.
Recommended for: simmering spooky story lovers, fans of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Angela Carter, or Ursula K. Le Guin, people with strange family members.
Final thoughts: I love the details and layers that don't interfere with this simple story. It reminds me of The Trespassers by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
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