The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

by HRevvdon@evpl on Saturday, September 19 2009, 10:04pm. Viewed 634 times.

The Little Stranger (2009) by Sarah Waters is set in rural England shortly after World War II and is narrated by the local middle aged bachelor doctor.  Dr. Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to see to a sick servant and soon falls under the spell of the crumbling mansion and the faded gentry that still lives there.  Faraday’s mother was a nursery maid in the house before she married out of service, now Faraday befriends the family that in his mother’s day would have looked down on him as not being of their class.

The family consists of Mrs. Ayres, the once grand dame of the county; her troubled son Roderick, a RAF airman with war wounds both physical and emotional; and, Caroline, the plain spinster daughter that Faraday falls in love with – or does he fall in love with Hundreds?

Soon sinister happenings begin that point to the mansion being haunted by a supernatural specter.  Waters' writing does not allow the story to sink into just another horror story however.  Her restraint allows the reader to become involved in the story, the characters, and to draw a good picture of post-WWII Great Britain in which the landed gentry are no longer favored and are on a drastic decline.

Who is the “little stranger?”

You also may want to check out Waters' Fingersmith, another good read.

 


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