Apr 25, 2010
This was a good ghost story which could have been a great ghost story. I have read one other book by this author, and she is a very talented writer, but since I am not a fan of lesbian/gay fiction I have avoided her books until I saw this one which does not contain that element. I was really looking forward to this one, but found it dissappointing due to uneven pacing and large sections that could have been left out altogether.
The story is told from the perspective of a middle aged, bachelor, country doctor who has pulled himself up from the working class, and only makes a modest living. From his boyhood he has been in awe of a local estate, Hundreds, and manages to ingratiate himself to the remaining members of the family who are struggling to maintain the estate which is gradually deteriorating around them. He eventually manages to get himself engaged to the plain spinster daughter. Disturbing things begin happening in the house; strange marks on walls, items "moving" inexplicably, strange sounds "teasing" the occupants from room to room, fires, and more until people are driven to madness or suicide. Caroline, the daughter, reads about a theory that an individuals subconcious can somehow cause these things to happen, that a "little stranger" can be released from an individual unknowingly. Caroline suspects her mentally disturbed brother, but by the end of the book you will suspect someone else entirely.
I wish I could give this four or even five stars because the story itself is great. Unfortunately it just drags in too many places, and as other reviewers have pointed out, could have used some editing by a hundred or more pages. Too Bad! Otherwise great.