The Little Stranger

Sarah Waters
The Little Stranger Cover

The Little Stranger


I came into The Little Stranger filled with preconceived notions of this novel. Sarah Waters is not unknown to me. I read Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, and Fingersmith when they first came out, so I have a good grasp on her writing style. I loved her previous books, but felt I should maybe reads these novels with a brown paper cover on them, especially Tipping the Velvet!

This novel was also nominated for A Shirley Jackson Award, which comes with its own set of expectations.

The Little Stranger came as somewhat of a shock for me. It was not set in Victorian England, it did not have an overtly lesbian main character. It did, however, have that whiff of the gothic that is a hallmark of Author Shirley Jackson. In fact tis novel reminded me quite a bit of her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle, not in plot, but in setting and feel.

As far as this novel, I liked it, but it left me scratching my head. There were no answers in the end. Sometimes that is the best feeling in a novel, unsettled. The novel was set in post WWII England, on an estate and a family in decline. I found the characters in this novel to be interesting, but ultimately unappealing as people.

3.5 of 5 Stars