This was my first Sarah Waters book, and I must say I do enjoy her writing style.
Hundreds Hall. Haunted or not? Ghost, poltergeist, or murderer?
Minor spoilers ahead.
Hundreds Hall, once a grand estate, has fallen into decline with the decline of its family’s fortune. The narrator, Dr. Faraday, first knew of the house as a small child when his mother was a maid there. After a 30 year absence, he is called back to the house because of a maid’s illness and is taken aback by the condition of the house and the family.
Over time he becomes sort of a family friend to Mrs. Ayres and her adult children Roderick and Caroline, though perhaps the friendship is more on his side than theirs due to class differences. All the while, strange happenings are afoot. Strange burn marks, footsteps in empty rooms and the like are witnessed by each occupant. The story is cleverly told, and the ending is left for the reader to decide. I’m one who actually likes this type of ending because I end up thinking about all the possibilities for days! The mood of the book was sufficiently creepy without being gory and was an excellent choice for the RIP Challenge, too.
The Little Stranger is shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize.
2009, 480 pp.
[Disclaimer: This book was obtained from my public library.]