Shirley Jackson Reviews Bed & Breakfasts -The Toast

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We Have Always Stayed At The Sandcastle Inn
“I could live there all alone. Behind the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin. Five out of five stars.”

The Vermonting of Hill House
“At Hill House, you are like a small creature swallowed whole by a monster, and the monster feels your tiny little movements inside. Complimentary scones and fresh-brewed coffee every day from 6-8 am. Within, walls continue upright, bricks meet neatly, floors are firm, and doors are sensibly shut; silence rests steadily against the wood and stone, and whatever walks there, walks alone. Parking difficult. Four out of five stars.”

Come Along With Me (To The Casa de Suenos Country Inn B&B)
“In ten years I will be a beautiful charming lovely lady writer without any husband or children but lots of lovers and everyone will read the books I write and want to marry me but I will never marry any of them. I will have lots of money and jewels too. I will stay at the Casa de Suenos Country Inn, and so will all of my lovers, because there are fourteen available rooms at the Casa de Suenos Country Inn, and I will have thirteen lovers, in honor of the Last Supper. I will eat my suppers at the Casa de Suenos Country Inn too. I will eat them in bed. Five out of five stars.”

Just An Ordinary Day At The Coppersmith
“Everything that makes the world like it is now will be gone. We’ll have new rules and new ways of living. Maybe there’ll be a law not to live in houses, so then no one can hide from anyone else. We’ll all live in bed and breakfasts together. No stars.”

Afternoon in Linen
“Journeys end in lovers meeting; I have spent an all but sleepless night, I have told lies and made a fool of myself, and the very air tastes like wine. I have been frightened half out of my foolish wits, but I have somehow earned this joy; I have been waiting for it for so long. Three out of five stars for the Greylock Inn.”

The Summer People (All Love The Cat’s Meow Cottage)
“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead. Try the lavender sugar on your strawberries. It’s the big white bowl on the middle of the table. You will be wondering about that sugar bowl, I imagine, is it still in use? You are wondering, has it been cleaned? You may very well ask, was it thoroughly washed? Ask Terrence, the breakfast-room operator, who will gladly answer any of your questions about the tableware. I give the Cat’s Meow Cottage three out of five stars.”

Even Larks And Katydids Are Said To Dream Of The Mill House
“On the moon we have everything. Lettuce, and pumpkin pie and Amanita phalloides. We have cat-furred plants and horses dancing with their wings. All the locks are solid and tight, and there are no ghosts. There are, as yet, no bed and breakfasts on the moon. In the meantime, I recommend the Mill House. There is tea in the drawing room every afternoon. Insist upon being served your tea with the cup of stars. Once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again.”

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