Spoiler Alert: This isn't a Lottery You Want to Win

The Lottery Cover

The Pick: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Plot: Members of a small village gather to participate in the annual lottery. Who will be chosen this year?

The Pros and Cons: Can you believe we are at the penultimate review for #30inNovember (I know what “penultimate” is thanks to The Dead Poets Society)? I’ve really enjoyed this month and I hope you have too! If you’ve appreciated any of my reviews, would you do me a favor and share it with others who may also enjoy book reviews through a Christian lens? If you have a book you’d like me to read and review, drop a note in the comments.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a strange short story. Told in a somewhat matter of fact, mild mannered way, the tale highlights what can happen if we just accept the “normal way of doing things.” It’s the kind of book which makes you stop and think and then wonder about the rest of the story, the why’s behind the actions of the villagers. It definitely passes the litmus test for a great short story. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that the ending is a bit shocking. The Lottery makes a great story for an essay assignment for an English or an Ethics class. I recommend it to older students and adults. After reading the tale, take a few moments to think about tradition and ask yourself what traditions in your life still make sense and what traditions need to be dropped.

The Perfect Book For: Short story aficionados, English or Ethics teachers, and anyone who likes a tale that makes them think.