The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters

I have to admit it, I was disappointed in this book. Yes, I gave it 3.5 stars, but I was expecting to give it 5. I know some of you out there know what I'm feeling.


I'm not going to get into the plot too much...there's a huge old estate falling into disrepair in post-war England. The estate is as much a character as the people, and I liked it more than some of them. There is the matter of the family that owns the house and the reduction of their status in society. There is the matter of the family doctor who keeps coming round, though he never seems to be of help to the family living in the home, as one by one, they fall victim to the house and its evil machinations. Or was it the house at all? Perhaps it was a ghost? Perhaps it was madness? These are the questions that kept me reading.


This story was well written, but not as well told as I had hoped. I felt that 100 pages could easily have been deleted and the story would have lost nothing. The atmosphere was rich in detail and setting, but not so much in the feeling. (I hope this makes sense to you.) This tale had the feel of M.R. James to it, but there's no doubt in my mind-James did it better and in far less words.


Overall, I enjoyed this tale-be it of a haunted house, a psychological horror story, or a commentary on society, or all of the above. I just wish it had been a little bit shorter, more atmospheric, and held a few more thrills. Recommended for patient fans of haunted house stories.