Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

Didn't Understand It

The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson

A few years ago I read We Have Always Lived in a Castle which I enjoyed. When nominating a spooky read for one of my book clubs, I selected this book. Unfortunately for me, it won.

The book starts off by saying "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hill, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more." It ends with almost the same quote. I thought the initial quote was fantastic, but repeating it at the end left me confused because in between these statements was a convoluted story.

There were four visitors to the house who were trying to find a psychic presence at the house. The reader gets all their information from Eleanor's viewpoint. She is a completely unreliable narrator. Eleanor would be terrified one moment and happy the next. I never understood why. Eleanor liked the others at the house one moment and hated them the next. There were very few clues as to why Eleanor acted this way or why the house was not sane. I was just glad the book was only 174 pages since it seemed as if it were 600 pages. It took forever to wade through incomprehensible thoughts and actions of Eleanor.

If you enjoy ghost stories or horror novels, you might like this book. Otherwise, avoid it.

Currently reading

The Waiting Years
Fumiko Enchi
Progress: 94/208 pages
Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock
Derrick Z. Jackson, Stephen W. Kress
Progress: 33/376 pages