The Little Stranger – Half Way Point

Hi Guys! We’re discussing The Little Stranger today (a day late, I know, sorry! I got my days mixed up!) from chapter 1 to 8.

So, first things first. How are you liking the book? Can you read it at night? I must confess, I get a little creepy feeling, on the back of my neck, when reading this book and the sun is down. I’m a big chicken.

What do you think about what’s going on? It starts mundanely enough, doesn’t it? A simple country doctor, taken with a home and family. Can’t you feel the want radiating off him? He wants this life so badly.

What do you think of the Ayres family? Do you pity them in their fall from the top?

Feel free to answer my questions or just ramble. Link up here, because I AM DYING TO *ahem* know what you think.

18 thoughts on “The Little Stranger – Half Way Point

  1. I… am undecided, honestly. I feel like I get creepy spine-tingles and start wanting to shout, “oh girl, don’t go in there!!” and then they don’t and things go on in a fairly straightforward fashion? I’ve got 200 pages left, though, and just past 1/2 way is where Ms. Waters seems to like to take the rug out from under her readers, so I’m looking forward to the rest!

  2. I gotta say that I am loving the book thus far. It has a very, very slow build up which is one of the things I imagine some would criticize the book for, but frankly I think that is one of its best features. It allows the books to be about the characters, including Hundreds which is itself a character, and not about the assumed creepiness that the book promises.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I love the creepy stuff too, but by focusing so long and so closely on the growing relationship between the doctor and the members of Hundreds, the eerie happenings, when they do crop up, are so much more meaningful. I care so much more deeply about the characters at this point. I am invested in them and in the house and so whatever happens in these last pages (I have 150ish to go) I will care more than I would have had the emphasis been on the frights.

    I haven’t relegated the book to anyone one specific time, I’ve just been devouring it, night and day. I finally stopped over the weekend around page 300 so that I could save some for after this discussion. I will be jumping right back in to it now!

    I love the doctor and want so much for him to have things work out for him. And I like that Waters makes the Ayres family sympathetic. I’m glad they aren’t a cliched upper crust family that you cannot help but dislike. Instead Waters does an amazing job of showing us what life was like after the war even for those who were once at the highest heights. I like that we see them digging in and working and doing their part and they don’t complain. Now they may complain about the burden of the house and the lack of finances but they aren’t whining about having to pitch in to get work done, and that endears them to me very much.

    Can’t wait to see what the last part of this book holds for me.

    • Hm, it seems we’ve been divided into two camps here. The one that sympathises with the doctor and the Ayres family and likes the slow build-up and the one that doesn’t. I’m in the latter group unfortunately. Want to love it, but can’t.

  3. Carl, I am in TOTAL agreement with you! The slow build of this book and the deft attention to characters was really a winner for me and heightened the creep factor when it came around. So glad you’re loving it and can’t wait to read your wrap-up thoughts.

    Andi

    • I’m looking forward to writing about it some more. It really was a great choice to start with. Even with the weather being warmer than I would like it to be the book allows me to get lost in an autumn mood.

  4. I’m loving it! Even if it is a little slow. It’s the perfect sort of slow. I’m loving the doctor and his “normalness” and now that there’s a bit of tension between him and Caroline, I’m loving that even more. The creepiness isn’t that creepy to me, so night time reading has been perfect. In fact, I’m having to force myself to put it down and sleep so that I can get up and function in the mornings. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention… I’m glad I joined up!

  5. I’m liking it but it’s still pretty slow at a little over half way. I will take everyone’s word for it that it speeds up though.

    I’m listening to the audio and enjoying Simon Vance’s narration. I’m finding the house creepier than any of the people and frankly I can relate because sometimes I think my own house is out to get me. But… I’m listening outside and during the day. I think if I listened alone after dark I be a bit more uneasy!

    • I haven’t gotten to a point yet where it ‘speeds up’ but again I’m really liking the slow, brooding pace. It really doesn’t have to pick up much at all for me and I believe I’ll still enjoy it. We’ll see though. Would love to hear Vance read this, he is so good.

    • I’m listening to the audio, too, and I agree – Simon Vance is fantastic. I think my enjoyment of his narration kept me going a bit in the beginning when everything seemed to be dragging….

  6. Hi! What luck finding this blog from Estella’s Revenge. I’m reading The Little Stranger right now, loving it so far, but have only read a few pages. I’d love to join the readalong although am not sure if I’ll be able to post on schedule. But I’ll be here reading your thoughts after I finish the half. Thanks!

  7. I’m really enjoying it so far. I don’t mind a slow story as long as there are interesting characters (and there are). I linked up my thoughts above. It isn’t too scary yet, but I’m sure I’ll start feeling it soon as more starts happening around Hundreds. I can’t wait to see where it’s going. I have my ideas, but we’ll see if I’m correct. Thanks so much for hosting!

  8. The book started off rather slow, but its starting to pick up the pace and I’m really enjoying it. So far, I’m liking Farday, but not really keen on the Ayres family. The whole mood of the book is perfect – the way it keeps building up to something is really starting to make me nervous, but excited. And I love the house being a character in the book – it adds an element of spookiness to the story. I need to keep reading to catch up though – I’m a bit behind. But I’m loving everyone’s comments – they are making me wonder a bit more about the Ayres.

  9. I listened to the audioversion, so I wasn’t reading it in bed – spouse might decide I was too committed to books. But, if I did have the paper/ebook, I wouldn’t mind reading this in bed. It starts off slowly, building the ambiance and letting us get to know the characters, it feels more like a historical fiction than a ghost story.

    The class issues struck me the most by this point in the story – I mean it is post-WWII. WWII did much to disintegrate class/race/gender issues for many countries so I wasn’t expecting the Ayreses to be holding so tightly to such an old-fashioned concept.

    Dr. Faraday struck me as one of those strong, persevering characters that is stuck in an unfortunate place – too educated for his original lowly class and not classy enough for the landed nobility.

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