Book Count (since 1 January 2012)

Book Count (since 1 January 2014): 30

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009.

A ghost story which is fairly frightening in parts. A Doctor goes on a house call to a crumbling mansion to treat a servant of an 'old money' family who have fallen on hard times. His life becomes entwined with theirs as he begins to treat the son for a war injury.

The house 'plays tricks' and the family become increasingly convinced that there is something sinister haunting the place. This leads to the destruction of the family and the Doctor is left wondering how everything fell apart. The ending was disappointing as it left a lot to each reader's interpretation which I personally find unsatisfying.

A good book and I enjoyed it but it is not as good as some of her other books, particularly The Night Watch.

The Children's Book by A.S Byatt

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009.

The novel follows the lives of members of a bohemian family through the early 1900s. The mother is an authoress writing fairy stories for children and the father is a socialist whose strong political beliefs cause difficulties with his job in a bank.

The children's lives go from idyllic to complicated and, in some cases, traumatic as they grow older. The children discover that both their mother and father have been unfaithful with the result that the family relationships are not what they were raised to believe.

The novel intertwines dark fairy stories with real historical events. Interestingly, given that I have just read The Great Lover, Rupert Brooke features on a number of occasions and some of the narrative describes the same events as The Great Lover.

This is a good book but at least 100 pages too long as it loses its way towards the end. There are too many characters so that the narrative becomes confused and it is difficult for the reader to really relate to a single person. Definitely worth reading though.