Reading this subtly creepy book as the last #yearsofmylife book published in 1951 before moving onto TBRs on my shelf published in 1952.
You just never know. I loved the three previous books I read by SJ. This was her first novel, 1951, written after her critically acclaimed short story, The Lottery, 1948. The intention of the plot was blurred, and it didn't contain the psychological intensity or creepiness she's known for and the description of the book in no way matching what I would say it's about. It's a shame!
I give up. It‘s my fault, not Shirley Jackson‘s, that I can‘t get into this book. It has all the ingredients but I just can‘t concentrate and am not interested in Natalie, her dysfunctional family or her college life. Maybe I‘ll try again some other time.
(Picture: Monastero di Santa Chiara, Naples, Italy)
What a weird book. I like it, but it's weird. Definitely Bell Jar-esque. The sentences though--beautiful, haunting, and often funny. Men do not come off well in this story, and neither does marriage, nor does growing up. The only thing to come out well, really, is Jackson herself--would be a great addition to any fall reads for those like creepy and twisty. Good thing I had dogs and Husband with me while I read (or did I?? Are any of us here?)
I spent a couple of hours at the bookstore looking for a creepy literary fiction book and found a Shirley Jackson I have never read! Woo hoo! And the protagonist has my first name, which should up the chill factor! Pizza is on its way, and husband and I are both settled with a book, so I am settled in for a comfy and creepy Friday night!
Natalie Waite eagerly leaves her dysfunctional family for college. She hopes to discover who she is & meet new friends. Instead, she encounters extreme isolation, gender expectations, & unsettling interiority. Jackson is an astonishing stylist & it shines in this, her second novel. Natalie Waite's despair & internal crisis are tempered, albeit briefly, by Jackson's witty observations.
A terrifically strange book. It's refreshing to have a campus novel not written about adolescent boys, especially because Jackson shows that growing up is just as--if not exponentially more--difficult for a girl. It's a dark and twisted tale where the reader, like Natalie, is never quite sure what's real. The ending is supremely inconclusive, provoking me and, by the look of it, many others to take to the Internet, wondering what we missed.
I love Shirley Jackson, and this book was a fun read. But it's obvious why it's one of her lesser known books - it can't compare to The Haunting of Hill House or We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Still worth a read, though!
The novel itself isn't about a traditionally scary subject like ghosts or vampires. It's a bildungsroman about a girl, Natalie Waite, who leaves home for the first time to attend college. Simply being inside of this girl's head is what makes this short novel so chilling and often disorienting. At the very least, this novel shows how scary entering the world can be for a young woman. #AllHallowsRead @Litsy
I had such a fantastic, busy weekend seeing a friend for the first time in 5 years, a work party, then on Sunday a day trip to the Tiny House Expo (and tours!), wine tasting, antiquing, and of course a picnic and BOOKS (from the antique stores). Found a STEAL--the paperback of Slade House for only $5! I'm pumped! And I love my new edition of Peter Pan 💖🍷🍂🍁🎃🏠💀👻🕷🌕🕸🌾🍃 I'm elated it's finally October (and I can use all the emojis 😝)
I made a list of 100 Must-Read Second Novels for @bookriot! http://bookriot.com/2016/06/02/100-must-read-second-novels. Did you know Sula, True Grit, and Fahrenheit 451 are all second novels? As well as this lesser-known creepy Shirley Jackson book! What are your favorite second novels?