Why did I love this book?
I love a classic haunted house tale and this is Sarah Waters’ version. The story of Hundreds Hall and its poverty-stricken inhabitants, the Ayres family, has all the hallmarks of a classic gothic novel, but the book works equally well as social commentary. Set after the Second World War, everyone is haunted; by family secrets, regrets, and resentments, by the scars of war, by nostalgia for a prosperous past now faded into memory. The supernatural elements are gloriously creepy, building at a measured pace to an understated but impactful ending. The best ghost stories leave us with questions and this one has haunted me ever since. Just brilliant.