Goodreads Review — The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson on Amazon

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Haunting of Hill House is, according to Stephen King, one of the scariest books ever written. This book isn’t ‘boo! jump out and scare you scary’, (although the paranormal activity is terrifying) but frightening as Eleanor loses what’s left of her fragile identity and becomes one with the house.

As with Shirley Jackson’s other work, themes of domestic life, identity, and women’s lives are woven throughout. In reading the reviews by others, I was struck by how ‘invisible’ these themes are — we are so used to women quietly spending their lives inhabiting houses, and taking care of them, that a person’s core identity being absorbed by a house is seen as unremarkable, and to be expected, until a car wreck jolts them out of this expectation.

As with much of Jackson’s other work, if put this novel in context of her own life, which was spent juggling a writing career while raising her children and managing a household, never mind the agoraphobia that affected her in later years, this book is truly terrifying.

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