71. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
I was excited to read this new book by Sarah Waters as her novel previous to this one, The Night Watch, was one of my favorite reads of the year. Unfortunately this book didn’t live up to my hopes for it.
Like The Night Watch, The Little Stranger is set soon after the end of WWII in England. The similarities end there however. The story revolves around 4 main characters: Mrs. Ayres the elderly matron of a once large and glorious estate named Hundreds, which has fallen on hard times since the war, her two grown children Roderick and Caroline, and Dr. Faraday. Dr. Faraday’s mother was once a maid at Hundreds when he was a child, and the house always fascinated him. He is called to Hundreds in his capacity as a doctor and winds up becoming quite involved with the Ayres family and Hundreds Hall. Many mysterious things begin to happen at the house and it appears as if it may be haunted a conclusion all its inhabitants come to, while Dr. Faraday continues to try and rationalize all the mysterious happenings at the house.
Waters writing is excellent in the book, which is what kept me reading even as the story fell somewhat short for me. The relationship between the characters interested me, but when the story became more and more about the haunting I became less and less interested. Also I felt the story lacked a good conclusion or explanation for what really happened. I guess in some ways it is left up to interpretation, but I wanted a definite answer about what really happened.
As I do enjoy her actual writing style though I think I will check out her earlier novels set in the Victorian era. I give this one a 6 out of 10.