An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
Speed read complete! Finished the last stretch this morning. So let's get reviewing.
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this one. I know a lot of people enjoy Shirley Jackson and recommend this one in particular, but that doesn't mean I'd like it. I did like it though. It had a charm to it that was eery but comforting at the same time. I liked reading it before bed because it would put me in a comforted state, which is weird. But it was homey, which only feels appropriate for this book.
Hill House is definitely a character in and of itself and I loved it. Jackson does a great job of helping with the visualization of the house's rooms, engaging all five senses. You could feel the uncanny nature of the house, feel the unsettling vibe. I felt like I was there, which is all any reader wants out of a book.
The characters were all lovely as well. I particularly connected to Eleanor. Like with The House of Small Shadows, she had issues that felt familiar to me, particularly her loneliness and feel of not quite connecting with the others. She was a flawed, likely unreliable character and I enjoyed that.
Really there were only two elements to the book that threw me off. The first was how the characters felt rather childish at times. It wasn't horrible but some of their play pretend talk kept having me think they were children instead of adults. It almost made some scenes comical as well, which was unexpected.
The other issue I had was some confusion over the ending and what was happening. I had to look up the wiki page to really understand the sequence of events, and to be honest I'm still not completely sure of it. But that might just warrant another read, which is hardly a bad thing.
Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Wonderful book, I see why it's so highly recommended.