Tag Archives: The Sundial

February 2016 Reads

This monthly feature came about because I can’t get my brain together to review everything. So what did I read, and what did I think of them? In case you haven’t been following my Goodreads, read on:

R. L. Stine: The Lost Girl: 2 stars
Lisa Scottoline: Look Again: 4 stars
Tess Gerritsen: Playing with Fire: 3 stars: Review
Shirley Jackson: The Sundial: 2 stars: Review

THE LOST GIRL
Only memorable thing: A person is covered in honey, oats thrown onto them, then pent-up starved houses are let out to EAT THE PERSON TO DEATH. No rescue from that, either.

LOOK AGAIN
It’s been years since I read a Lisa Scottoline book, but so glad I decided to catch up on her backlist. Probably would not recommend this to anyone who’s adopted a child. A journalist comes across an age-progressed picture of a missing child…who looks just like her son. A fast-paced twister, this is a great re-introduction to Lisa Scottoline’s storytelling. Hopefully it won’t take me as long to get to her next novel!

[REVIEW] The Sundial – Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson
The Sundial
Penguin Classics (US & CA: 28th January 2014; UK: 27th March 2014; AU: 28th May 2014)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide)

Having read The Bird’s Nest last month, I expected another quality read from Shirley Jackson. Unfortunately, The Sundial failed to grab me. It should have been intriguing: Aunt Fanny’s brother dies, but his ghost appears to her with warnings of an upcoming apocalypse, in which only the people inside the family mansion will survive.

OK, this was written decades ago, but the family believes the warning so quickly that it doesn’t feel right. Someone does try to skip out, but after she’s assaulted she’s rescued and brought back to the mansion. Meanwhile, the family tries to recruit people to join them, should the need for repopulating the earth arise – this bit is kind of comical.

And at the end, we’re not told if everyone outside the house dies or not. Might be interesting to read a follow-up. If you wholeheartedly believe that apocalypse will come on a certain date, and you plan and live and everything, and it doesn’t happen…what will you do in the aftermath of the non-event? There are a lot of pre- and post-apocalyptic stories, but I’m not sure if this angle has been as frequently explored in fiction. Something to think about.

But yes, this did not hold my attention at all, and is very much a let-down in comparison to the author’s other works.