With all this ice around I have decided to read a ghost story and Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger seemed a natural choice. So here I am at Hundreds’ Hall, decaying, melancholy and rather moth eaten. Waters is great on evoking place and the tired, rather ordinary decay of this setting is rather different from the overripe Gothic sensuality of Briar in Fingersmith. Perhaps a rather pedestrian, compromised setting after the luscious eroticism of her hit novel?
Waters has chosen her narrator, the pre-NHS GP Dr Farraday cleverly. He is a man with imaginative limitations compounded by the sense of class inferiority. His apparent grey neutrality is a useful device for relaying what I assume will be the progressive unfolding of disquiet. Things will become decidedly rotten at Hundreds’ Hall and our narrator will struggle to confront that which must compromise his scientific training.
But so far I am full of admiration for the montage of dullness assembled at this hall. Even the dog is ancient and about to go! I can hear the voice of Farraday clearly and convincingly. He is outside just on the gravel at Hundreds’ Hall and so am I!!!
The Woman in Black
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