I have just finished reading Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger and, whilst it is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to record some thoughts on it (maybe this is why I should join a book group).
Ever since reading Fingersmith I am wary of Waters’ narrators. I felt betrayed by the twist in the tale and, I think, it was my first introduction to the idea that the narrator may have an alternative motive, and may not be entirely reliable.
There was a point at which I began to feel uneasy about trusting Faraday, the amiable country doctor telling the tale in The Little Stranger. It may have been his willingness to prescribe away every little neuroses; his fascination with the crumbling aristocratic family at the centre of the story; or his facility to infiltrate that family whilst failing to prevent, or even predict, its demise.
Since reading Fingersmith, I have become really interested in the role of the narrator in telling a story, as well as in the narrative structure (something Waters toyed with in her last novel, The Night Watch)