Thursday, April 30, 2015
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson - book review
This is a strange ghost story, as ghost stories go. The premise is a group of people who volunteer to spend time in the Hill House to study the haunting phenomena from a scientific perspective. They’re initially strangers under Hill House roof and the relationships start off happily, buoyed by eagerness and excitement. The story is told from Eleanor’s point of view, coming from a sheltered and restrained life and who attempts to pass herself off as one of the cool kids. Theodora and Luke are actual, dyed-in-the-wool cool kids and the older doctor Dr. Montague is a cool father figure to all of them. As Eleanor strives for acceptance and to overcome her own internalized imposture syndrome, the group dynamic marginalizes her and she drifts between hope and resentment. Oh well, at least the House is her friend.
Thoroughly good read, quite touching at times, though the style is a little difficult to follow at times, flitting between the factual and metaphorical in keeping with Eleanor's inner turmoil.