Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods - until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers.
The fire at the Blackwoods' house draws the villagers, a vengeful mob.
"If you haven't read We Have Always Lived In The Castle you are missing out." Neil Gaiman.
"Her greatest book...at once whimsical and harrowing." Donna Tartt.
"A masterpiece of Gothic suspense." Joyce Carol Oates.
Shirley Jackson, who died 50 years ago, was perhaps best known for her short story, The Lottery, and her novel, The Haunting Of Hill House, twice filmed and thought to be the last word in haunted-house tales. Her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King and Nigel Kneale.
Reader: Bryony Hannah
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Producer: Karen Rose
A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.