Audiobook review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Audiobook review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
It says much for Sarah Waters's storytelling talent that not for a single minute did I think of fast-forwarding, says Sue Arnold

Ghost stories - apart from that one about the bishop's cat by MR James - are not my favourite literary genre. It says much, therefore, for Sarah Waters's storytelling talent that not for a single minute in her latest novel, about a family being persecuted by things going bump in the night, did I think of fast-forwarding. It's set in rural Warwickshire after the second world war, a time of significant political and social change. The narrator, whose mother worked for the Ayres family living up at the manor, Hundreds Hall, is now the local doctor. When he is asked to treat a young servant girl working for the Ayreses, Dr Faraday becomes inadvertently involved with the family's lives, financial problems and, most of all, the malevolent ghosts that terrorise its members. I miss Waters's velvet-and-lace clad Victorian lesbians, but for spine-chilling spookiness, her post-war poltergeists are better value. Simon Vance reads it in such a reasonable, matter-of-fact way, you believe every word.

Contributor

Sue Arnold

The GuardianTramp

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