Now, I know I recommend books often, so saying “go read this book” might seem a bit redundant. I don’t say this lightly, but I think Shirley Jackson’s novel may have just overtaken Wuthering Heights as my number one favourite book.
I thought I didn’t like the kind of category a ghost story would fall into. I also hate being scared. But reading it wasn’t scary, albeit a psychological rollercoaster and bloody creepy at times, and I’m thinking perhaps it’s mainly the loud noises in horrors that I don’t like.
The story is quite simple, so one might think it’s full of tropes of the genre reading it now, but I’m inclined to think Jackson invented the tropes and every ghost story since has simply followed suit. Doctor Montague invites Eleanor and Theodora to Hill House to be part of an examination into its alleged haunting, along with Luke Sanderson, the young man who is to inherit Hill House, his family’s property. An exploration into fear and self-doubt, the effects or manifestations of it, and the unavoidable start to my Shirley Jackson Binge Read.