Hunger by Susan Hill
Long Barn Books (ebook), 2013
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
When Adrian and Paula move to a cottage in the countryside, they don’t know what to expect. At first, Adrian finds their new life idyllic, and insists on lots of long walks and fresh air, while Paula finds rural life lonely and dull.
Then some small and oddly silent children start showing up — in the woods, the garden, and eventually inside the house itself. Their presence proves disturbing to Adrian, who is having second thoughts about the move they’ve made. Its Paula now who seems more at home with country life and Paula who starts to take a peculiar comfort from the mysterious new arrivals.
Hunger is a haunting account of a marriage unsettled by a move — from a master of psychological suspense.
On the second afternoon, after they had unpacked the last of the boxes, Adrian said they should go out for a walk. That, he said, was the whole point of moving here, to go for walks.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Hunger is a great little story, creepy and sad in equal measures. The presence of the children is unsettling and disquieting. I kept expecting something terrible to happen. What actually unfolds is creepy but much tamer than my crazy imagination. They reminded me of children in a story I wrote, only those children are little psychopaths who do terrible things. The children in Hunger are much tamer. I liked the way Hill explored Paula and Adrian’s relationship and how they react different to the children which gradually drives a wedge between them. I had a good time with this story.