The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little StrangerReaders will not be able to put down this pitch-perfect book that takes place in Britain in the 1940s, a time when the era of the “Great House” and its quasi-regal inhabitants is beginning to come to an end with the emergence of a new middle class.

In The Little Stranger we see both the great house, Hundreds Hall, and its inhabitants fall to forces of social change and...well...something else. In a sly yet persistent way, we gradually come to understand that Hundreds is, perhaps, haunted. Strange things are happening inside the house and there seems to be no accounting for them.

Can it be that a daughter long lost to diphtheria is returning to reclaim her family? Or, could it be that its inhabitants are succumbing to a sort of contagious hysteria around events that surely have logical explanations, as narrator, physician, and close family friend Dr. Faraday wants to believe?

Writing in intricate detail and pulling the reader deeper into this mysterious story, Waters has rendered a slightly off-kilter period piece that lends itself perfectly to discussion groups and is reputed to be her best novel yet.

Riverhead/Penguin; ISBN 978-1-59448-446-9; $16.
The Little Stranger: Reading Guide

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