Title: The Little Stranger
Author: Sarah Waters
Genre: Historical fiction, gothic fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Simon Vance
First line: I first saw Hundreds Hall when I was ten years old.
Amazon blurb: One post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline. 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 intimately entwined with his.
Okay, here’s one of those books with the ambiguous endings I was telling you about yesterday. This one didn’t bother me quite as much as the other titles on my list – probably because the up-in-the-air ending was read to me in the silken voice of Simon Vance. I loved everything about this book up until the end, but I know a lot of people who liked that the ending was left a bit open-ended, so don’t let that stop you from giving it a try. It does start off a bit slow, but once I was at the halfway mark, I was completely enmeshed in the intrigues at Hundreds. The mystery was spooky and insidious and subtle, which I guess means the ending fits.
Title: Before I Go to Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Genre: Psychological thriller, mystery
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: The bedroom is strange.
Goodreads blurb: ‘As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me …’ Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life.
This is the book that inspired my post yesterday. This one was the proverbial straw – I wanted to chuck the book through a window. I can (sort of) understand that some books work well with an ambiguous ending, but not mysteries. One of the reasons I read mysteries is because I like the way they all wrap up in the end. This was a terrific read – I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough – until the last few pages. And then I was just pissed. I read on the author’s web site that they’re making a film version of it – I sure hope the screenwriter gives the stupid thing an ending.