The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters
Set in post-WWII England, Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger (Riverhead, $16) starts with Dr. Faraday’s house-call to the old country estate, Hundreds Hall, to tend to the family’s ill maid. The maid’s real complaint is not her health but the rambling and dilapidated house, which shows signs of supernatural goings-on: mysterious wall markings, soft taps across the floors of deserted rooms, shifting objects, bruises and scrapes suffered by its occupants. As these preternatural occurrences grow more violent, they’re echoed in the social turmoil of the changing world outside the estate. Waters’s beautiful prose and masterful control of her material deepen the chill of this accomplished Gothic novel.