"This is a ghost story. An old fashioned, spine…"
This is a ghost story. An old fashioned, spine tingling, ghost story. This book is gripping. I couldn't put it down. It is set in rural England in the aftermath of WW2. It atmospherically describes the transition that society is going through with the move to the welfare state and the emergence of the middle class. But, at the same time the suspense and the horror are building up. With each scene the tension builds. The best book I read last year.Read moreLess
"Waters follow-up to the Night Watch is a radical depart…"
Waters follow-up to the Night Watch is a radical depart from the Victorian romps which made her name, a chilling twisty tale that keeps you guessing right to the end, and beyond.
Set in post-war austerity, the story is (unreliably) narrated by country doctor Faraday and charts his affection, then love, and finally obsession with crumbling Hundreds Hall, and its owners the Ayres.
Mrs Ayres is a faded gentlewoman hanging onto notions of pre-war grandeur in spite of the realities of rationing and shortages, her grown-up son Roddy is a shell-shocked victim of the war, and daughter Caroline is uneasily trying to negotiate the transition from war-time emancipation, back to pre-war domesticity in a post-war world.
And who is the little stranger? The enigmatic Betty, maid of all work? Mrs Ayres first and best-loved child Susan, who died young? Or someone - or something - else entirely?
Don't let the slow build put you off - for genuine horror is waiting round the corner, all the more terrifying for being (a la "Turn of the Screw") delicately poised between the supernatural and the psychological.
Waters keeps you guessing and turning pages right to the end, and beyond. The final pages may resolve things for the characters, but there are no simple answers to be found and the horror of the Little Stranger will keep you thinking long after you have closed the book.Read moreLess
"Waters draws the reader in by slowing building up the…"
Waters draws the reader in by slowing building up the drama, tension and then chilling horror in this novel.
The novel centres on a crumbling old mansion and an aristocrat family in decline. An outsider and local doctor is the narrator, and also the voice of logic and reason in the novel.
As in previous novels, Waters writes with ease and detailed knowledge of the period. In 'The Little Stranger' she captures post WW2 Britain with its new builds, fitted kitchens and the forthcoming national health service.
My only gripe was my disappointment with the ending. I expected a twist, or at least explanation of events, but was left a little flat.
All in all a gripping read for bed with a hot water bottle or by the fireside on a cold night, but don't go to sleep in the dark!Read moreLess
"A fabulous ghost story…"
A fabulous ghost storyRead moreLess