Search in the dictionary for 'gothic' and you'll find a picture of Shirley Jackson. Or should anyway. Jackson was the queen of the twisted little tale and what separates her from the rest of the pack is that her stories are so small. They're almost the literary version of those pandas carved from a single matchhead. You have to peer so closely to see what the artist has wrought, that - in the case of Jackson's work - when understanding dawns, the effect is truly disturbing.'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' concerns two sisters - Merrycat who is eighteen and her older sister Constance - and their Uncle. They live quietly. Very quietly. The people who live in the New England village near their home give the pair a very wide berth. Then one day a cousin arrives and the fragile balance of their lives is irrevocably tipped towards disaster. Gradually, very gradually, Jackson uses events to reveal what happened to the rest of the sisters' family and to allow us to appreciate how they are trapped with each other, forever.It's haunting, exquisitely written and (like Jackson herself) deeply morbid.