Monday, September 17, 2012

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (Read-a-long)


Oh, the ambiguous ending. I usually don't mind an ambiguous ending, but this one left me cold. I'm okay that Waters didn't spell everything out, but I wish there had been more clues to at least make a guess as to what was happening. I have no idea. I have some rather random guesses, but I don't feel like I have enough evidence to argue a case one way or another.

I do think that there was something supernatural in the house. At first I thought it was the deceased daughter Susan, but I couldn't figure out why she would torment her family. My thoughts were that maybe the suspicious circumstances concerning her death would come to light. Nope, nothing did.

The second thought that came to mind was that it was Dr Faraday's mother. It seemed like anyone who got in his way of breaking into the family was targeted. (Roderick was insulting to his class. The attack on the little girl seemed a distraction to the party intended to find a suitor for Caroline. Mrs. Ayres was disapproving of his engagement to her daughter. Caroline became a target once she ended the engagement.) By the end, I was just confused. Caroline seemed to recognize her attacker, but she didn't know either of those two individuals during their lives. Hmm...chin-scratcher.

The title didn't really come into play until the very end and it seemed like an afterthought. That was slightly disappointing.

I wasn't particularly fond of Dr Faraday in the first half, but I actively hated him by the second. He really showed his true character after being snubbed by Caroline. How incredibly insulting he was! He obviously didn't really love her because if he had he would never have said such dreadful things. He was just angered because he saw Hundreds slipping through his greedy fingers. And, stalker much? My goodness. Creepy, creepy dude. Leave her alone already. She doesn't like you.

Despite all my grumbling above, I did enjoy The Little Stranger. I can't deny that Waters' is an excellent writer. It was slow at times, but it kept my attention. It wasn't perfect, but it was an enjoyable RIP read. The audio really helped with that. I will certainly be looking for more audiobooks narrated by Simon Vance.

Much thanks to Estella Society for hosting!


14 comments:

  1. I may be the only one who didn't see the ending as ambiguous! I used the same word -- stalker to describe Faraday at the end. He's the character who changes the most for us.

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    1. Barbara, reading through other participants posts, I think I'm the one in the minority. Every one else seems to be certain it was Faraday. I think you all have me convinced.

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  2. Cold, yes. I read this last year and it did nothing for me. I didn't find it remotely creepy...and I'm still wondering why others do! I just feel like I missed the boat completely on this one.

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    1. Jill, I feel like I missed something on this one too. It was fine, but I didn't find it remotely creepy for most of it. I could easily have read it at night. I feel like I read a different book after reading the responses by everyone else. Now IT on the other hand...very creepy.

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  3. Sounds interesting. I enjoyed visiting your blog!

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    1. Susanbright, thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I wished there had been more clues too. It was my first Waters book, so I think I was impressed with the writing more than anything, but I wish things had been explained a bit more in the end.

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    1. Melissa, the writing is what impressed me the most too. I just enjoyed that and wasn't spending too much time trying to figure out what was going on.

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  5. I didn't dislike Faraday until after Caroline broke up with him. He just could not let go. Claiming she was not in her right mind and shouldn't be allowed to do as she pleases with the property and leave the country - well, it was desperate.

    My best guess is that the paranormal happenings were a manifestation of Faraday's desire to be a part of Hundreds Hall. I like how the ending is left a little ambiguous and I can decide for myself.

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    1. nrlymrtl--I agree that Faraday was alright until he became so possessive and controlling. He wouldn't let it go even though Caroline was so frightened of him. After reading several other reviews, I think you're correct that Faraday was somehow causing the paranormal activities. It makes sense.

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  6. I completely agree with your sentiments. I wish there were more clues, though I'm glad it wasn't completely straightforward :) I also kind of felt like I read something different from the others in the group read. I also think I enjoyed the writing the most of everything.

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    1. Victoria, I think the writing was the best part. I too felt like I might have read a different book. I don't mind ambiguity either, but it was a little too much.

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  7. I would love to read another Waters book. I loved Fingersmith.

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    1. Care--I haven't read Fingersmith, but I've heard great things about it.

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