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The Little Stranger


After her award-winning trilogy of Victorian novels, Sarah Waters turned to the 1940s and wrote THE NIGHT WATCH, a tender and tragic novel set ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Little Stranger

Average rating
4 out of 5 stars
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  • just so-so Jul 29, 2010
    by Deborah S

    Moody and interesting characters, but just didn't take off for me. Her Fearful Symmetry has now set the bar higher for these kinds of stories.

  • 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.

  • Really hooked me Oct 28, 2009
    by Valentyne

    I agree with many of the other reviewers who felt pulled in and involved in this story. I loved and enjoyed the supernatural elements, but they are not the main story, though they lurk beneath everything that happens, and certainly will raise goosebumps. There is a mystery here to be unraveled, but it ends up being somewhat ambiguous. I don't mind, since the narrator Faraday sees what he can see through the lens of "rational" thinking and his subjective experience; the reader can read in other things and take another point of view, and most likely will. Most interesting. The book really pulled me forward and kept me up late at night and reading fully engrossed in noisy situations where I normally would be distracted. A good sign! The characters are sympathetic in most every case, and the tragedy of the Ayers family imbues the entire tale with melancholy and longing. A great book which I highly recommend.

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