There are only three people still living in Blackwood House, 18 year-old Merricat, her older sister Constance and their aging Uncle Julian. This is because the others, the parents of the girls, their parents and Julian’s wife were killed by arsenic which was put in the sugar bowl at dinner one evening.
Merricat is the totally unreliable first person narrator but she never talks about the murders. Uncle Julian talks about the murders, the loss of his wife, the trial of Constance. Merricat goes to the market and deals with outsiders but it is these folks in the “castle” who are the outsiders. One day their distant cousin Charles shows up and changes start. They have always avoided any changes.
Like so much of Jackson’s fiction this is an incredible book, so much attention is given to detail, the characters so finely drawn, the suspense so carefully built. This was one of my Halloween books. (lol)