22 June 2009

The Little Stranger

I just finished reading Sarah Waters’ latest book, The Little Stranger. I unreservedly recommend anything she’s written. Her latest yarn takes place just after the second World War, in Warwickshire, England. Ostensibly a haunted house story, its subtext chronicles the deterioration of the once-immutable class system.

As I was reading the book (on my new Kindle!), I came across an interesting comment from Dennis Healey, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer. "Woman’s Hour," a BBC radio show I listen to in podcast form, was doing a story on the rise of nonagenarians. One of them was Healey, who said that one of the reasons he had lost interest in
politics was the end of the “class war:”

“The class war, which was very alive in my time, has completely disappeared. If you ask a young person what class they belong to, they don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. They say, ‘Oh, I left school ages ago.’”

The Little Stranger wonderfully details class differences in a society recently battered and broken by a grueling 7-year war.

No comments: