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The Paying Guests

Sarah Waters

61,611 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0349006164 / ISBN 13: 9780349006161
Published by Virago Press Ltd, 2014
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Paying Guests

Publisher: Virago Press Ltd

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

It is 1922 and london is tense. Ex?servicemen are disillusioned, the out?of?work and the hungry are demanding change and in south london, in a genteel camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow mrs wray and her spinster daughter, frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. For with the arrival of lilian and leonard barber, a modern young couple of the 'clerk class', the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways and as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far?reaching and how devastating, the disturbances will be.this is vintage sarah waters: beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters and surprises. It is above all, a wonderful, compelling story.

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014: It is 1922, in a genteel house in a genteel neighborhood just outside of London. Here, the widowed Mrs. Wray and her 26-year-old daughter, Frances, pass each day very much like the day before—with Frances busying herself with household chores, maybe a bit of needlepoint, and her mother nibbling on a lunch of cauliflower cheese while making notes for the parish newsletter. In less skilled hands, such prolonged stage-setting would test even the most patient reader. But in Waters’, it’s mesmerizing, with every small but evocative detail serving to transport you further into this place and time. Take a deep breath as you’re reading, because as soon as you are you lulled into the calm cadence of these lives, the Wray’s tenants—the “paying guests” they have taken in to help with the bills—turn everything topsy-turvy, and by the novel’s conclusion, you have gone from straight-up period piece, to love story, to edge-of-your-seat crime thriller (and not the American kind “with a plot full of holes” that the Wrays suffer through on picture-house Wednesdays). For a story set just after WWI, some of the themes Waters touches on are surprisingly contemporary. History does repeat itself sometimes, and so it goes for Sarah Waters, with yet another masterful novel. –Erin Kodicek

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