I have absolutely adored every single one of Sarah Waters’s four novels. Really and truly, she is probably my favourite contemporary novelist, and one of only a tiny handful of writers whose work I would go and buy immediately, in hardback, no questions asked.
So it was a little squeal of glee that I got Virago’s email announcing the launch of Sarah Waters’s new website and, even better, half of the first chapter of her new book The Little Stranger. I’ve now read the sample material, and it’s brilliant. I immediately went and pre-ordered my copy. 68 days until publication… 68 days too long if you ask me.
Like The Night Watch, the novel is set in the 1940s, and this time it’s a ghost story. Here’s the synopsis:
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners – mother, son and daughter – are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own.
But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.
I’m. So. Excited.