The Little Stranger

The Little Stranger

Book - 2009
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Dr. Faraday, a country physician, is called to see a patient at Hundreds Hall, the dilapidated residence of the Ayres family, but Faraday begins to wonder, as he spends time in the house, if the Ayres could be haunted by more than family conflicts and the changes of society.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2009
Edition: 1st Riverhead trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9781594484469
Branch Call Number: WATERS S
PR6073.A828 L58 2009
Characteristics: 512 p. ; 21 cm


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LPL_KimberlyL Oct 10, 2018

Gothic fiction novels are some of my absolute favorite to read, and this is, by far, one of the best. The eeriness of the entire situation slowly envelops the reader, so by the end you feel just as suffocated and paranoid as the characters within the book. This is a story Shirley Jackson would have loved and approved of - perfect for when the weather turns colder and the darkness of the evenings come earlier and earlier.

JCLChristiH May 03, 2018

I enjoyed this subtly spooky story, set in postwar England of the 1940's. Don't look for a jump in your face fright with this one; but, a beautifully descriptive story of the demise of a once great family in a huge crumbling estate with sneaky little suspected supernatural events that might be explained away by "the rational".

Aug 20, 2015

A strange story . I couldn't make up my mind whether the house was haunted or all the family were mentally ill. The ending seemed unfinished somehow. It took a long time to read.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 17, 2014

In post-WWII England, village physician Dr. Faraday is called to Hundreds Halls—a once grand estate that is now in decay and a financial burden on its once grand and no longer wealthy upper class owners. After this first visit, he slowly befriends the Ayres family and begins to witness a subtle malevolent force in the house that seems intent on destroying its occupants. This eerie novel is both a literary ghost story and a fascinating look at postwar Britain at the brink of social change.

Diell Apr 09, 2014

I read this book when it first came out, I think I still have it somewhere.
I'm stealing from a few of the earlier comments as some of them made me remember the book quite clearly.
Yes good development of the characters because after all this time I
remember them and how they related/interacted with each other.
And yes I remember that sense of foreboding, the tension, and my uneasiness and irritation with Dr. Faraday. I remember it was one of those books where I kept saying oh just a few more pages and a few more, then the next thing I knew it was 2 in the a.m. She's good enough
that I searched out the rest of her books. She's good enough that I remembered the feeling of the book
years later. The words used in the other comments are right on, foreboding, dread, tense and disturbing.

ChristchurchLib Jun 17, 2013

"Set against a grim post-WWII British backdrop, this novel focuses on working-class Dr. Faraday, who's summoned to Hundreds Hall to attend to the aristocratic Ayres family. Faraday, the son of an Ayres household servant, has not seen the place in 30 years. Far from the splendour he remembers, Hundreds Hall is a decaying ruin and its surviving occupants - widowed Mrs. Ayres; her war-damaged son, former RAF pilot Roderick; and her "spinster" daughter, Caroline - are troubled by what they claim is an evil supernatural force. Atmospheric and foreboding, this novel balances Gothic creepiness with fascinating commentary on class distinctions, attraction, and perception." June 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

Jul 27, 2012

This book is about the class system in post WW II Britain. Although it takes the author about 50 pages to set up the story, it is suspenseful to the end. A very good read.

Mar 06, 2012

The Little Stranger has some spooky parts, however, I kept waiting for soemthing more in the story. It was a little slow to start but kept me reading. I enjoyed the descriptions of the house and I thought the characters were nicely developed but just can't help feeling like there should have been something more....

Jul 29, 2011

What I liked about this book was the sense of foreboding atmosphere Waters created, and how the characters were affected by it over time. What I didn't like was the wishy-washy approach to what actually haunted the family at the center of the story.

BPLNextBestAdults May 31, 2011

This novel, part gothic tale and part historical suspense kept me up until all hours. The Little Stranger is an old-fashioned ghost story, complete with spooky house, eccentric inhabitants and a narrator who may not be as mild-mannered as he seems. Doctor Faraday, a lonely bachelor, first visited Hundred’s Hall in 1919 as a child when his mother worked for the aristocratic Ayres family. Now, 30 years later he is called back to treat a servant. His once solitary life becomes entangled with the family: Mrs. Ayres the elegant owner; her 24 year old son Roderick, an RAF airman wounded during the war: and daughter Caroline, considered a plain spinster by locals, but for whom Dr. Faraday develops a special attachment. And the mansion, Hundred’s Hall, is to my mind the most important character in the story. Author Sarah Waters ever so slowly builds the suspense as she skillfully weaves tension and dread into each and every paragraph. A book not to be missed.

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Feb 08, 2011

Dr. Faraday becomes family doctor to the Ayres family, a mother and 2 children in their 20's. Doctor's mother was a servant in Hundreds Hall for a short time. Son was wounded in WWII. Daughter is rather spinsterish. They have one full time and one part time servant. House is deteriorated and they continue to sell off land to live off the money. Servant tells dr. there is a "presence" of evil in the house (the little stranger), soon the son believes this as there are strange happenings mostly revolving around him. Mother comes to believe the presence is her long dead young daughter who died in childhood.


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