Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sara Waters Warning; plot spoiler

The Little Stranger was a skilfully suspenseful novel, in my view, very well written. The story had a slow burn which kept me hooked, even though the plot was a little predictable and I was left wondering if we were meant to believe the rational explanation or the ghostly one. Did Caroline kill herself to avoid passing on the 'family trait'? Was Mrs Ayres delusional? A very young girl left alone in a spooky basement would be quite likely to imagine things. I liked this ambiguity.

I found Dr Faraday as he panicked at the thought of losing Caroline, a little unconvincing in his efforts to marry her. Was it Caroline or the house he wanted? But he had no money for its upkeep. Surely he could sense her reluctance? He was a good doctor and I couldn't believe he would behave as he did. He was being set up as a possble suspect in her murder, with no alibi, but this was a false trail and for me the end was rather a let down.

The writing style suited very well the 'gothic novel' genre of the book, with a strong feeling for the post war period and its privations. Hundreds of large houses fell or were taken down in the last century and many families had to endure watching the decay around them and this I thought was handled well.