Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Little Stranger

by Sarah Waters

I received this book from Amazon vine. I want to say that Sarah Waters is a favorite author of mine. I have read all of her books, and I have seen the British films made of Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith. Wonderful on all counts.

I was thrilled to see that a new book was soon to be released, and I was particularly happy to be able to read an advance copy, and not have to wait.

The story mostly takes place at Hundreds, the family estate of the Ayres family. When we are first introduced to this home it is in its heyday, the family at it's peak of social and financial success. The story takes place after the war however, a time when many estates are failing. Hundreds has not escaped this fate.

The Ayres family is doing their best to save their home. In fact, they are struggling even to keep food on the table and feed their livestock on the estate farm. The bulk of the responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of Roderick, the man of the family since his fathers passing. Roderick suffers from emotional and physical injuries sustained in a plane crash while he served his country. The burden of saving the family's home and fortune is almost impossible for him to bear.

Caroline, his older sister busies herself with keeping house and caring for her mother. Roderick will not allow her to help him with what he sees as his duty to the family. Mrs Ayres has perfected the ability to live in denial.

We are introduced to Dr. Farraday, when he is summoned to care for Betty, the young girl who works for the family. He is to play a huge role in this story and the fate of this family.

I am sad to say that none of the characters in this novel appealed to me as much as those in her previous novels. These characters were lackluster and annoying. The story seemed to trudge along, rather than flow naturally as all of Water's other novels do.

Perhaps if one has not become so enamored with the type of novels that Water's has written in the past, one would enjoy it more. I knew this was going to be a bit of a departure for her, but perhaps it is just not what she does best. I am sorry to say that I was disappointed

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