Two young ladies find themselves down on their luck, and forced to rely on the charity of an aged minister and his wife in their house in France. Surrounded by creepy characters and horrendous exposition, they eventually decide something is amiss and they simply must do something about it - such as discuss it for a large number of pages, whilst hoping a big man will come along and save them. Eventually they are improbably saved by a big woman instead, although only faced with a protagonist who seems to have lost his mind. And of course, they both get happily married to eminently suitable gentlemen as that is what women must do. Feminism doesn't get a look in here, with our two passive heroines, sitting around darning socks and giggling / screaming hysterically, as the occasion demands it. How this ended up as a modern classic, I have no idea - a mood of suspense is created, albeit it with a number of diverions into deep boredom, but the plotting is so lazy, with passive (and I repeat the word for good reason) narrator and friend plucked from peril in a most unrealistic and pseudo-mystical manner. Try Shirley Jackson instead. I imagine this is the sort of work that forced Angela Carter to dig her typewriter out.