Welcome to my review of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters!
One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine.
Its owners—mother, son, and daughter—are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. 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 intimately entwined with his. (This summary was taken from Goodreads.)
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, yes, I would definitely recommend this book!
If you’re looking for a more subtle scary read, then this book is right up your alley. And by subtle, I mean no gore, no jump scares, just a general feeling of unsettling fear throughout the book. I know they made this one into a movie, but I haven’t been able to see it yet. I plan to watch it someday when I don’t have to buy or rent it.
Dr. Faraday is the narrator, and he seems trustworthy at first, but as Hundreds Hall slowly seeps into his mind, he seems less and less reliable as the storyteller. The house, it seems, has also affected its other occupants, slowly driving each one of them to the brink of insanity. But who’s to know if it’s the house, its history, its seclusion, or its ghosts?
It can be a bit dry at times, but I love a good subtle horror novel. One that doesn’t have to rely heavily on jump scares and body horror. It takes a master to create a general feeling of disquiet throughout an entire book. Not just any author can do that.
Another great quality of the book is the characters. Because Dr. Faraday is forced into a state of isolation with each member of the family who lives at Hundreds Hall, he gets to know them well. And so does the reader. Which makes the ending all the better. But I don’t want to ruin it in case you decide to read it. Overall, I would recommend this book to just about anyone, including a busy mom. It’s a different kind of scary story. It is a bit longer and more intricate than your average horror story, but it’s worth it.
Five out of five stars
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If you enjoyed my review of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, you might also like Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar. Check out my review!
If you’re interested in purchasing The Little Stranger, here are some quick links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re interested to see what others think, here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.