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I would have preferred 100 pages less.

The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters, Simon Vance

I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book but although the story was interesting, I have marked it down because it was just too drawn out and I lost interest well before the end. This was another book that I finished just because it was on audio.


The main character, for me, was actually the house; creaky, disintegrating, spooky, it was a sinister presence throughout, but especially towards the end. The novel is set just after WWII and the after-effects are felt in the injuries, both physical and mental, exhibited by Rod, in the once grand, Hundreds Hall. Dr Faraday is called out to see him when his regular doctor is busy, and soon finds himself drawn to the family. Mrs Ayres is a lovely ageing woman, with old fashioned ways, and her daughter, Caroline, is a somewhat frumpy spinster. 


Gradually, one thing after another seems to happen to the family; is the house really taking on a will of its own? Faraday, who narrates the novel, wants everything to have a scientific explanation, but the reader is left wondering. 

This could have been really good with 100 pages removed, leaving the spookiest bits but removing the ramblings of Dr Faraday.


One thing this book does do well, is describe the changes that were taking place in many large houses after the war. The once wealthy landowners are short of staff and funds and both houses and families were struggling to hold everything together.


So, some good points, some less so, but overall a reasonable read.


Also read, by Sarah Waters:

Tipping the Velvet (3.5 stars)