Natalie Waite may have had a fairly normal upbringing, but her deteriorating relationship with her parents and general unhappiness leave her with an eagerness to escape her childhood when it comes time for her to leave for college at the age of seventeen. However, her new independent life and identity soon begin to seem empty as well, and the happiness and freedom she desired never seem to arrive, leaving Natalie to slowly unravel.
Hangsaman is one of author Shirley Jackson’s lesser known, but critically acclaimed works. Presenting itself as a simple coming-of-age tale, Jackson deftly manipulates her heroine’s delicate instability to craft a uniquely suspenseful story about identity and loneliness.
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