Weekend Rec: Sarah Waters’s Classic Horror Novel, The Little Stranger

Sarah Waters, Photo © Charlie Hopkinson

As the leaves begin to turn and the cool fall air slowly begins to set in, it’s the perfect time to read some chilling gothic horror to while away those weekend hours. We happen to have the perfect book rec: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.

Drawing from the works of greats like Daphne Du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry James, Sarah Waters’s 2009 novel is a study in societal upheaval, anxiety, and sustained suspense. Set against the backdrop of postwar England, The Little Stranger centers around the remaining siblings of a once great family living out their days in a shambling Georgian Mansion called Hundred Halls, lamenting the shifting societal tides and crumbling class barriers that for so long defined their lives. When Dr. Faraday, a middle-aged general practitioner with his own history at Hundreds Hall, is called to treat a young parlor-maid, he is warned of a “bad thing” in the house. The existence – or lack thereof – of this malevolent presence sits at the center of atmospheric, slow-burn creeper.

Here’s more on The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters:

One postwar summer, in his home in rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline. Its owners–mother, son, and daughter–are struggling to keep pace with a changing society. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.