Friday, January 22, 2010

A Book Review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters:
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners mother, son, and daughter struggling to keep pace. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

This book was shortlisted for The Man Book Prize 2009. This is a first by Sarah Waters for me and I know it won't be my last. I don't want to go too much into detail, but it's an excellent ghost story. Yet, I don't really like calling it a ghost story. I feel labeling it as such doesn't give it the credit it deserves. It's not a ghost story that you tell around the camp fire, but one that stays with you days after you've finished it. It also makes you want to go back and reread different parts of the story to see the clues you should have picked up on, but didn't because that's how well it's written.
I do warn readers that it was hard to get into at first. Nothing really exciting happens until the 3rd chapter. And the chapters are long about 30 pages each. I'm glad I stuck with it and finished. A must read for supernatural lovers. A lot of people compare it to Henry James' The Turn of the Screw (shortstory) which I would also recommend reading.

Visit Sarah Waters official website: www.sarahwaters.com

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