Looking back, it may have been a mistake to choose this novel of the supernatural by Sarah Waters as my holiday reading. I never sleep well the first night or two in a hotel and this did turn out to be the kind of novel that you really don’t want to be thinking about as you lie there awake in the dark. No, you really don’t want to think about it, but somehow you find that you can’t think of anything else.
When I began to read THE LITTLE STRANGER, I found it a bit slow and didn’t warm to the characters either. I began to skip a bit, feeling too tired by the effort of packing and travelling to give it the full concentration that it needed. Then bit by bit it began to grip until I was absolutely agog. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it, but the force of the ending makes you want to read the novel all over again to see how she does it. I don’t admire it quite as much as I do FINGERSMITH, but it is pretty damn good. And though it is broad daylight as I write this, there are parts of this novel that I don’t care to think about when I am alone in the house. At least I think I’m alone in the house. Surely those weren’t footsteps on the stairs . . . it must be the cat . . . but surely I put the cat out . . .