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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Little Stranger Read-a-Long: Wrap-up

This R.I.P. VII Read-a-Long is being hosted by The Estella Society.

I know, I'm doing this backwards. I just posted my review, and now I'm going back to do the check-ins!

Here are my thoughts on the first half of the book.

These are my thoughts on the second half of the book (or thereabouts):

This is one of those stories whose ending is a bit ambiguous and left open to interpretation.
 
WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ THE BOOK, STOP RIGHT HERE!
 
While reading the story, I felt that all along the little stranger was Susan, Mrs. Ayres' first daughter who died as a child. With the black smudges and Roderick's account of what took place in his room while Gyp was attacking the little girl, it could only be that something supernatural was going on; that the house was haunted by a malevolent spirit. With the childish scratches in the wood that appeared to be S's, I was sure that Susan was behind it all.
 
The pace of the second half of the story was very fast, and I was shocked at what transpired. Dr. Faraday proposed to Caroline, who did grudgingly accept but it is clear later on that she saw the marriage as a means to get away from Hundreds Hall. When she finds out that it is no longer Dr. Faraday's intention to move away, you can feel her disappointment. After she breaks off the engagement, Dr. Faraday becomes obsessed with changing Caroline's mind. He even goes so far to imply that she's mad like the rest of the family. I was shocked at the deaths of both Caroline and her mother. I don't believe either one was a suicide.
 
Right up until the end of the story, I still believed that Susan's spirit was haunting the family. But at the end of the story, Dr. Faraday says:
 
"If Hundreds Hall is haunted, however, its ghost doesn’t show itself to me. For I’ll turn, and am disappointed—realising that what I am looking at is only a cracked window-pane, and that the face gazing distortedly from it, baffled and longing, is my own."
 
What the...? This totally threw me for a loop! Is Dr. Faraday the one who is mad and has terrorized the family? Is he implying that HE is "the little stranger"?
 
I think this one deserves a re-reading! 

2 comments:

  1. Just wanted to say that I love the design of your blog. And your title is very unique! love it! and great book choice! :)

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    1. Thanks, Alyssa! I'm glad you stopped by!

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