“Merrell’s tale may be character-driven, but her themes of love and betrayal in the period of the 1960s drive her story. Filled with literary allusions from Shakespeare’s villainous Iago to Jackson’s own gothic works, Merrell explores the mysteries behind what it is to love, how to be loved, and how to provide love.”
“Fittingly, Shirley by Susan Scarf Merrell does not dwell on the ghostly and the inexplicable but instead digs into the everyday reality, at times both ugly and beautiful, that inspired Jackson’s writing — the unpleasant kernels of truth around which the author built her best fiction. Sure, there is something eerie that tingles at her book’s core, but Merrell’s hauntingly quiet novel is a story of marriage, of what we do to hurt the ones we love most and how far people will go to protect the vows they made when they were too young to understand them.”
“Watch out here for an intertwining of fantasy and reality that is emblematic of Shirley Jackson’s work, and a tribute to it.” Full EH Star review here.
Guess which fabulous Gothic horror novelist ended up as a Jeopardy question last week?