The Pequod Review:
The Stranger's Child takes the familiar premise of an English pastoral novel and turns it into a wholly unique story told over the course of nearly a century. In 1913, a young aristocrat visits his Cambridge friend for a weekend at his country home in Middlesex, and Hollinghurst traces the effects of this pivotal weekend on future moments in time through 2008. I was reminded of a more experimental Vanity Fair or perhaps A.S. Byatt's Possession. The book seems to have been under-appreciated on its release (reviews were marginally positive, and it was not even nominated for the Booker Prize despite Hollinghurst winning it previously for his inferior novel The Line of Beauty). It's a shame since to my mind this is by far his masterpiece.