Wednesday, 14 May 2014

'The Sundial' by Shirley Jackson

So it has been a while since I posted and for that I do apologise!

In the time it has taken me to add a new post, I have been extremely busy writing my own dissertation on the subject of this blog - Modern Gothic Literature.  More specifically, the works of Shirley Jackson which has lead me to this post on another of her works.

The Sundial is a strange book and at first I must admit that I was not at all enamored by it at all.  It seemed unrealistic and all a little bit too sci-fi for me in the beginning.  However, as is a common characteristic of Jackson's work, I was soon roped in to the depths of the story.

The book begins with the funeral of the son of an insufferable woman and her ill husband.  His wife and child are left with nothing in his will, rather his mother is left with everything that belonged to him.  The story tells of the disfunctional family who receive news via a spinster aunt who also lives with them that the world is about to end but they are to survive.

The house and it's belongings are sacred and the typical Gothic Trope of the haunted house is present throughout the novel.

The story meanders through the build up to the end of the world and how the house acts as a protector to it's inhabitants.  The number of people who are under it's protection gradually increases as more and more people arrive at the house.   The tale tells of the preparations made to be ready for the end of the world, however, disappointingly, the night that is supposed to come to end the world never comes.

The reader never knows what happens which is a rather disappointing ending to the story.  It has built up throughout the whole story and yet it never comes.

This ending brings it's rating down considerably to 3/5