Now a major motion picture starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter and Charlotte Rampling, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
'Sarah Waters's masterly novel is . . . gripping, confident, unnerving and supremely entertaining' Hilary Mantel
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners - mother, son and daughter - struggling to keep pace. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Ghosts roam the mansion that’s at the heart of Sarah Waters' wonderfully spooky novel, but these spirits are more ambiguous than the phantoms of traditional supernatural stories. Hundreds Hall is the crumbling home of the once-prosperous Ayres family, whose sense of despair and decay is rooted in not only the building’s unsettling otherworldly occupants but also the seismic shifts in Britain's class structure post-World War II. As the idealistic Dr Faraday befriends Caroline, the unmarried daughter of the house, the story gains emotional depth, making the events that unfold that much more chilling.
Waters (The Night Watch) reflects on the collapse of the British class system after WWII in a stunning haunted house tale whose ghosts are as horrifying as any in Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. Doctor Faraday, a lonely bachelor, first visited Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked as a parlor maid, at age 10 in 1919. When Faraday returns 30 years later to treat a servant, he becomes obsessed with Hundreds's elegant owner, Mrs. Ayres; her 24-year-old son, Roderick, an RAF airman wounded during the war who now oversees the family farm; and her slightly older daughter, Caroline, considered a "natural spinster" by the locals, for whom the doctor develops a particular fondness. Supernatural trouble kicks in after Caroline's mild-mannered black Lab, Gyp, attacks a visiting child. A damaging fire, a suicide and worse follow. Faraday, one of literature's more unreliable narrators, carries the reader swiftly along to the devastating conclusion.
Title & narrative work on a number of levels
Great novel that starts off as a ghost story and then seems to become something else... Yes a lot of class observations, but these are central to story and interactions between the characters.
The Little Stranger
In a similar vein to ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurer; a house and family haunted by some sort of imagined or real watchful, malignant presence, which infects and poisons everyone.
Beautifully written, evocative of a bygone age...the story, told largely by Dr Farraday, really pulls one in.
I would have expected more suspense, however I was lost in overly explained thoughts, feelings and so on. I was holding a breath till the last page... to no avail