5 reasons to read this brilliant novel :
Sarah Waters is a consummate story-teller; the mistress of the twist in the tale, the readers’ adrenalin rush (“I can’t believe this is happening… I can’t put this book down!”) She did this in Fingersmith and she does it again in this 2009 gem of a novel.
A family mansion deep in the English countryside, one that’s seen much better days. Beautiful, dusty rooms with peeling plaster and broken chandeliers; inhabited by people trying to come to terms with their past.
A riff on nineteenth-century ghost stories, done with a 21st century sensibility. Waters starts gently enough – creaking floorboards, flickering lights, the sudden slamming of a door trapping someone in a room – then she ratchets up the tension to disturbing levels.
He seems to be such a nice, genuine, caring man. He’s the family doctor, of course he can be trusted … can’t he?…
Sinister, ambiguous and very, very unsettling.