Jim's Reviews > The Little Stranger

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
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's review
May 24, 12

bookshelves: good-british-books
Read in May, 2010

Set in post-war Britain, this book examines what happens to a land rich (but cash poor) family after the end of WWII, when they fall on harder times.

The matriarch of the family has known life in the area since WWI, when they were the local "big-wig," who people looked to for leadership. In response, they bestowed the benevolence (and "empire medals") to the masses.

By the end of WWII and the election of a Labour Government, the family has fallen on hard times. They are having to sell parcels of land left and right to meet the bills, the son is recovering from "war induced stress" (which today might be viewed at PTSD), while the daughter is viewed as the village spinster at 28.

As their world falls apart in this post-war world, they start to hear noises round the house. The question is, are the stresses of the house getting to them or are they haunted?

This wasn't a bad book, but I found it slightly grating on occasions. It's set in a 1940s rural England where manners are "terribly important" and the lower classes were "seen but not heard." If you like this sort of this, you'll like this book. If you don't, you won't.

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