Recommended Read: The Little Stranger

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Little Stranger 

Cooler weather and grey skies (for what feels like weeks!) make me instinctively reach for a mystery novel. I picked up a copy of The Little Stranger in Montreal where I was immediately drawn to the French version's cover art (far better than the English version, I'm afraid.). 

The novel is primarily set at Hundreds Hall, a decaying estate house which is home to the Ayers family in post-WWII England. It's an intriguing story about a family trying to hold on to the-way-things-were versus a more uncertain future. The narrator is a local doctor, Dr. Faraday, who is called to visit Hundreds Hall one night when the regular doctor is on vacation. As a result, Dr. Faraday becomes increasingly involved in the Ayerses' lives. Eventually it appears that something is working against the Ayeres and their weakening ability to hold on to Hundreds. 

This novel tricked me - I did not love the way it ended, but the more I let it roll around in my mind, I can see its subtle brilliance. The Little Stranger is not who or what it seems, it's an intriguing metaphor for the decline of English estates.

Finally, I'm currently obsessed with Downton Abbey, so The Little Stranger also offered to fulfill my need for more English estate drama.

Replies:
Lauren: ha! I'm sure you could :). Love your blog, btw.
Michelle: indeed, it was.

4 comments:

Julie said...

ooh, I'm greatly intrigued!! I'd love to borrow, and promise to return in a much more timely manner than Light Boxes. ;)

Siubhan said...

I spotted someone on twitter talking about how good The Little Stranger was earlier today and thought I should check it out, so how perfect to find it here! (I love coincidence.) It sounds just like the kind of thing I love reading. That is a very satisfyingly designed cover too, you're right.

Jessica said...

I LOVE this book! If you like it AND Downton Abbey I bet you would love the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard (I have been telling everyone who loves Downton to read this books! there are 4 in the series).

Becky said...

I read that book a few months ago and it scared me so much! Absolutely fantastic!!

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