Home > Book Reviews > the little stranger – sarah waters

the little stranger – sarah waters

The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters

I must admit, I was quite disappointed with The Little Stranger – I think I was expecting better things from it.  I don’t really want to give too much away as people may be wanting to read it – and I hate knowing endings etc, so I warn you there MAY be a couple of little spoilers in here.

It was written well , and the characters seemed real enough, but real as they were, they annoyed the hell out of me. And nothing really seemed to happen, which frustrated me beyond belief! I kept thinking “Oooo, it’s going to get good now!” and then it didn’t, it went back to ‘blah’.

The story centres around a society family in a Warwickshire town shortly after the war who have had to live with various traumas and upsets and are slowly being brought down in their crumbling mansion that they are unable to maintain – it was a gothic style but not particularly spooky (although I was so determined to finish it one night that I read it in bed til 2am, and then cos I’m short-sighted, started imagining all sorts in the shadows of my room – but that was more my overactive imagination than the actual visualisations of the book!)

The story is written from the point of view of their doctor, and one of the most annoying things was that nothing ever happened when he was around – it was always told as him hearing the tale from someone else…which made me wonder whether it was actually him that was ‘haunting’ the house a lot of the time, although I hope that would have been hinted at towards the end at some point.

I sped through the book, and finished in 2 or 3 days (which is very quick for me!) but a lot of that was through sheer frustration, wishing for an ‘event’ in the story.

I found it a bit like the Lost of the literary world. Well made, great back story, real characters and hints of ‘goings-on’ but eventually just disappointing and a completely missed opportunity to be something fabulous!

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  1. teadevotee
    February 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Ok other potential readers this IS going to be a spoiler…

    I thought that it was him – especially at the end b/c you know he sort of goes into a trance on the night she ‘kills herself’? And the way she said ‘YOU’ right before she did it?

    I was scared of the black marks but I am an idiot like that!

    You are right though, it was not the best Sarah Waters ever. I love Affinity!

    • February 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

      I haven’t actually read any of hers before this, and it kind of put me off. Although a couple of friends have said that they really liked The Night Watch.

      I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought it was him. Maybe it was just a bit too subtle. I like to be told “YES! You were right!” at some stage, LOL

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