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And our Booker shortlisted October Book of the Month is...THE LITTLE STRANGER by Sarah Waters (discussion Tue 3 Nov)

(126 Posts)
TillyBookClub Tue 29-Sep-09 09:57:45

Message withdrawn

angelberg Sun 24-Jan-10 17:26:51

Re. costly books... Try ordering from They usually have books at reasonable prices, postage is free and they have a gerat second hand service!

lovechoc Sat 21-Nov-09 12:55:57

Finally finished October's book! Really enjoyed the story, even though it's not a book I'd normally go for. Hope to read more Sarah Waters books in the future!

elkiedee Wed 04-Nov-09 11:43:09

Thanks to MN, Sarah and everyone who posted questions, it's been an interesting read.

I was lucky in that I just happened to spot a copy in my local library 2/3 months ago, and I was even able to renew it once so I could finish reading (which you can't do if there's reservations, fairly enough).

3 years seems a long time to wait but I haven't actually read Affinity yet, so I'll have to do that.

TillyBookClub Tue 03-Nov-09 21:44:49

Thanks everyone for a really excellent chat - please keep going if you want to carry on discussing.

And just to add, November's choice is now ready and waiting for your vote. Polls close next Tuesday 10 November.

bran Tue 03-Nov-09 21:18:58

Thank you, it's lovely get an insight into an author's mind. smile

SarahWaters Tue 03-Nov-09 21:17:51

Thank you! Good night.

blimey Tue 03-Nov-09 21:16:06

thanks very much Sarah!

BellaBonJovi Tue 03-Nov-09 21:14:27

Thanks ever so much, Sarah.

Good luck with the next book wink

Pluto Tue 03-Nov-09 21:13:54

Thank you Sarah. Off to borrow the rest of your books from my mum now.

TillyBookClub Tue 03-Nov-09 21:12:30

I think that's about all we have time for... Sarah, you are undoubtedly one of the best webchat authors we have ever had, thank you for answering so many questions with such energy and thoughtfulness.

Congratulations on all your brilliant books, and good luck for the next. Please come back and tell us about it in 3 years.

JaceyBee Tue 03-Nov-09 21:10:12

I also warmed to the Ayreses more than I thought I would. At first I had little sympathy that they couldn't afford staff any more, boo hoo, and that the world they knew was changing beyond all recognition.

I think the fact that Caroline was such a strong and resilient female character helped me to empathise with her but then all your books seem to feature women with similar traits.

SarahWaters Tue 03-Nov-09 21:09:39


Thank you! And thanks to everyone here - it's been great. Are there any questions I didn't manage to answer?

SarahWaters Tue 03-Nov-09 21:08:15


I spent a month at Hedgebrook, right in the middle of writing the book. It was there that I started to see the romance potential between Dr F and C (I wrote the 'dance' chapter) - so maybe it was being away from home that pushed the book in a slightly unexpected direction. The retreat was great - Hedgebrook is a very nurturing place.

TBMOM Tue 03-Nov-09 21:07:49

It was, it was. I sure of it! grin

twoflakesanight Tue 03-Nov-09 21:06:39

Anyway, on balance I liked TLS less than FSmith & Tipping the Velvet, then Night Watch but still thoroughly ebnjoyed it; bought the hardback as soon as I saw it (a great extravagance) and will do your next book, so thank you Sarah - the last hour's been a real pleasure. xxx

SarahWaters Tue 03-Nov-09 21:06:04


The 'you' issue: I'd rather leave that ambiguous...

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Nov-09 21:05:24

Oh no... battery dying and have left charger at work. Will have to catch up tomorrow. Thanks so much Sarah fantastic to have you on and really looking forward to the next book. Carry on everyone

bran Tue 03-Nov-09 21:04:37

Dr F should be played by Ben Miller (of Armstrong and Miller), and Caroline should be the woman who played Daisy on Spaced (would she be too old/not posh enough?).

Pluto Tue 03-Nov-09 21:04:24

Can you tell us a bit about your time at the Hedgebrook women writers' group and how this formed your start on The Little Stranger.

SarahWaters Tue 03-Nov-09 21:04:15


I think a lot of women came out of the war with a new sort of confidence and purpose; but lots went home and felt trapped and dulled by domesticity. Caroline, too, feels the pull of the estate - is needed there to help run it, and to help look after Rod.

fruitpastille Tue 03-Nov-09 21:03:43

Jammyolantern, I did enjoy the book but not as much as Fingersmith I must admit - you should try that one, full of twists and turns in the plot.

I can see why it was left ambiguous in the end - I had guessed at all sorts behind the haunting - I had suspected each of the main characters as being behind it by the end. Initially I thought it was Caroline because of all the upset with Gyp and even Dr F suspects this doesn't he?

I agree with Sarah - I saw Dr F as a bit misguided and aspirational but not really 'bad' - I only began to see that later in the book when he was losing it.

Sarah, can you tell us who Caroline saw when she said 'You' on that fateful night?

twoflakesanight Tue 03-Nov-09 21:03:33

Children's historical fiction never seems to wane in popularity either.

There's something so cosy about hist. fiction. I have to say, I felt like I was slipping into a warm, rose scented bath reading the first couple of pages of TLS - that lovely feeling you have where you know you've got a really good read ahead of you... so rare. I went on to find the ambiguity a bit difficult too, though; I understood what you were doing, and that ultimately there are no clear-cut answers, but it can be hard reading a novel where one is constantly trying to make sense of the last bit and how it all fits in with what you know so far, only to find that there's no ultimate understanding to be had.

then again, it raised so many things to think about, and perhaps one should just relish the suspense and being frightened for its own sake - that was done so well.

SarahWaters Tue 03-Nov-09 21:01:26


I couldn't possibly say.

SarahWaters Tue 03-Nov-09 21:00:34


No prob, thanks for being honest! Sorry it didn't quite work for you. Funnily enough, the romance between Dr F and C took me by surprise - I hadn't planned it, it just seemed to happen by itself. (So there you are: I guess I don't plan everything...)

blimey Tue 03-Nov-09 20:58:47

I have read and loved fingersmith and night watch. I liked this book less because Dr F is so out of touch with his feelings that he makes a slightly dull narrator. I still read the whole thing and was definitely more and more drawn in by what would happen.
So Sarah thank you so much for saying you like one of my comments - I think you are such a great writer! I guess ghost stories are just not my thing really.

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