- Megan Bingham
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The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall, the residence of the Ayres family for more than two centuries. Its owners, mother, son, and daughter, are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as conflicts of their own. But the Ayreses are haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life.
The Little Stranger is an upcoming British supernatural horror-thriller film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Lucinda Coxon, based on the novel of same name by Sarah Waters. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter, and Charlotte Rampling. It is scheduled to be released on August 31, by Focus Features.
Looking for more Gothic novels in the vein of The Little Stranger? Check out these titles below.
Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase
Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family's country estate, where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, of course, it does. More than three decades later, Lorna is determined to be married within the grand, ivy-covered walls of Pencraw Hall, known as Black Rabbit Hall among the locals. But as she's drawn deeper into the overgrown grounds, half-buried memories of her mother begin to surface and Lorna soon finds herself ensnared within the manor's labyrinthine history, overcome with an insatiable need for answers about her own past and that of the once-happy family whose memory still haunts the estate.
The Children's Book: A Novel by A.S. Byatt
When Olive Wellwood's oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive's magical tales—she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends, a world that conceals more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined and that will soon be eclipsed by far greater forces.
The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen
In 1883, the Lady Jenny Gallagher, age 23, died suddenly at her home of Deeprath Castle, deep in the Irish countryside. Though her death was ruled an accident, the precise circumstances are unknown. In 1992, Cillian Gallagher and his beautiful wife Lily were found dead within the castle walls. A suicide/murder? Or two murders? In the present day, Carragh Ryan is offered the job of taking an inventory of the vast library at Deeprath Castle. A great lover of books, Carragh can't resist the opportunity to access to the historic collection. But what she finds at the castle—and in its enigmatic heir, Aidan Gallagher—leads Carragh ever deeper into the heart of an ancient and sinister family secret.
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
A long-lost letter arriving at its destination fifty years after it was sent lures Edie Burchill to crumbling Milderhurst Castle, home of the three elderly Blythe sisters, where Edie's mother was sent to stay as a teenager during World War II.
Grief Cottage: A Novel by Gail Godwin
After his mother's death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she'd moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually, she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation. The islanders call it "Grief Cottage," because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours, while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, the courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda. Grief Cottage is the best sort of ghost story, but it is far more than that--an investigation of grief, remorse, and the memories that haunt us. The power and beauty of this artful novel wash over the reader like the waves on a South Carolina beach.
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother's Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents' yard. Twelve years later Robin's murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated. So it is that Robin's sister Harriet—unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson—sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town's rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family's history of loss.
Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James
England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex's wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to the family's estate in the Sussex countryside. All is not well at Wych Elm House. Dottie's husband is distant, and her son was grievously injured in the war. Footsteps follow Jo down empty halls, and items in her bedroom are eerily rearranged. The locals say the family is cursed, and that a ghost in the woods has never rested. And when Jo discovers her husband's darkest secrets, she wonders if she ever really knew him. Isolated in a place of deception and grief, she must find the truth or lose herself forever.
The Night Strangers: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, had to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure which left 39 dead. Strange things start happening in the town as Chip and Emily begin to question their sanity.
The Séance by John Harwood
It is a world of apparitions, of disappearances and unnatural phenomena, of betrayal and blackmail and black-hearted villains—and murder. For Constance's bequest comes in two parts: a house and a mystery. Years before, a family disappeared at Wraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside with a sinister reputation. Now the Hall belongs to Constance. And she must descend into the darkness at the heart of the Wraxford mystery to find the truth, even at the cost of her life.
We Have Always Lived In the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Since the mysterious death of four family members, the superstitious Mary Katherine "Merricat" Blackwood, her ailing uncle Julian, and agoraphobic sister Constance have lived in a bizarre but contented state of isolation. But when cousin Charles arrives in search of the Blackwood fortune, a terrible family secret is revealed.