I finished The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It falls into this category: "Books I loved all the way through, skipping other activities to read them---and then got to the end and was disappointed because there was not the kind of careful explanation I wanted."
I don't like books to leave me wondering and speculating. I am not someone who thinks to herself with a shrug, "Isn't it wonderful to leave some things UNKNOWN in this unsurprising world!" or "Well, there are things that just defy explanation." That might be fine for real life when there's no other choice, but not for fiction: NOTHING defies explanation in FICTION. The creator of the book's world is the author; all things are known to the author---and so I want those things revealed to me kthanx.
I realize not everyone wants this. Some of us like little Belgian detectives tying up all the loose ends, and some of us would rather stare thoughtfully into space thinking over the various possibilities. And at least The Little Stranger isn't the kind of book that makes it clear the author got caught up in leaving tantalizing details but then couldn't think of an ending that made sense with them (Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult, I am looking in your direction); it's one of those old-fashioned stories where the narrator is telling a story that happened to him, and he never did find out the reason it happened, and so we don't either. It's a subtle difference, and one that's meaningful to me---BUT I STILL WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Supernatural or not? And if supernatural, what KIND of supernatural? And if not supernatural, what KIND of not-supernatural, and HOW? TELL ME, SARAH WATERS. I DEMAND TO KNOW. If I don't find out, a part of my dream-self will detach and leave scary scribbles under the paint of your house. Well, or I'll be PRETTY FRUSTRATED. One or the other.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...