We Have Always Lived in the Castle

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Another creepy delight from Ms. Jackson… the remains of a family ostracized by a small town even after the daughter (Constance) was acquitted of poisoning her family with arsenic in the sugar bowl that her mother, father, uncle, aunt, and brother dipped into for toppings on their blackberries. The other sister, Mary Katherine/Merricat, survived by having been sent to her room without supper. Uncle Julian also survived the poisoning but has become wheelchair-bound and deranged. A cousin arrives unexpectedly, Charles, and proceeds to make himself at home and counts the money greedily in the safe. Merricat wants him gone, ransacks his room (her father’s old room), and may or may not have been responsible for letting his pipe set a fire that consumed most of the house. While Charles runs for the fire department and asks for help moving the safe a thousand times, the sisters retreat to the woods and watch the villagers throw rocks in the windows of the home once the fire is out. It’s at this point, six years after the poisonings, that Merricat and Constance exchange words about it, where Merricat admits to doing it.