Guest posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Little Stranger

I was already a fan of the author and so I eagerly anticipated this book. I found it had many of the same elements I already loved about Waters' writing - she creates interesting and evocative scenarios, and she is highly skilled at presenting complicated relationships. In this book, the main characters are struggling with the immense socio/economic changes that occurred in England after the Second World War and they try to isolate themselves from the externally forced transitions by becoming emotionally alienated from each other and from society in general. They manage to create an isolated little world in which each of them has a defined place and space, and it's a world which the first person narrator is desperate to join. Still, trauma, mental illness, death, and the paranormal all meld to create a tension that can't last, and their world begins to crumble. 

The story gripped me and I was fully engaged with the characters, however, I wasn't happy with the ending of this book. I found it to be a real disappointment, but in thinking about it, I realized that I also couldn't see how it could have ended any differently. I think my unhappiness came from how well Waters had engaged me in her characters lives, rather than from anything to do with the story. I wanted them to have a happy, or even mediocre, outcome to this time in their lives, but that just couldn't be. 

I highly recommend this book, but don't read it at a time when you need cheering up

No comments:

Post a Comment