The Paying Guests

The Paying Guests

eBook - 2014
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From the bestselling author of The Little Stranger and Fingersmith, an enthralling novel about a widow and her daughter who take a young couple into their home in 1920s London. 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. 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. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances's life'or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be. Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize three times, Sarah Waters has earned a reputation as one of our greatest writers of historical fiction, and here she has delivered again. A love story, a tension-filled crime story, and a beautifully atmospheric portrait of a fascinating time and place, The Paying Guests is Sarah Waters's finest achievement yet.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2014
ISBN: 9780698157705
0698157702
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Opinion

From Library Staff

“You can almost bet that a situation with long-term guests–paying or not–is not going to turn out well. This novel by Waters, who many know from her earlier books Tipping the Velvet and The Little Stranger, will keep you turning the page to see just how tense things can get, and how far fear and ... Read More »

Forced to take in lodgers in economically challenged 1922 South London, widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter find their lives profoundly and disturbingly changed by the arrival of a modern young couple.


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c
ctkvlk
Aug 11, 2017

Started out as a charming, old-fashioned story, but then introduced a lesbian theme. Really? Does every book today have to have overt sex (gay or hetero) in it? Just ruined the book for me. Too bad, because it had potential. I'm not against relationships in a book when appropriate for the storyline, but this seemed so contrived. Disappointing.

b
bluegardenia29
Aug 24, 2016

Great book with wonderful characters. Gives the reader a glimpse of life in England after the first world war. The subject may not be for all readers. It's an unconventional love story....and a thriller. Highly recommend.

g
GLynn
Mar 21, 2016

I found it to be a dreary story about dreary people with too many words. Like many other readers I think it could have been edited to a more manageable length.

d
Deebean
Mar 15, 2016

There should have been serious editing done to this book!! The actual story line wasn't bad, but there were many unnecessary details and descriptions that didn't even pertain to the story. I would have given it a better rating if she had cut about 100 pages out of the book.

s
scatdiane
Mar 03, 2016

I found this book entertaining and engrossing, but I am interested in the time period, between the World Wars and how people lived then. The murder mystery part of it was almost too intense for me, but I am not much into thrillers

j
JILLYJELLY
Mar 02, 2016

I liked this book but it could have had about half the pages deleted and still have been an effective and engaging story. It needed some good editing. Still, I did enjoy it...especially the ending!

k
KellyReader
Nov 02, 2015

I did not enjoy this tedious book at all. The writing was pretty, but the plot was dull and tired. I skipped pages and pages at a time just to get through it.

j
joanieg19902
Oct 15, 2015

Even with many of the main characters that do not stand up as being honorable, this is an excellent book. The post WWI setting in England is part of its charm.

m
marinka
Aug 09, 2015

What a tedious read. Plot was slow moving, the characters flat and unlikable. Scenes appear to be inserted just to fill pages, not to move the story along and the prose is laden with long strings of adjectives. Fluffy, verbose drudgery like the author was getting paid by the word. In the end I could not finish.

basilbrynn1 Jun 18, 2015

I really enjoyed this book. It is brilliantly descriptive and gives us a slice of life back in the mid 1920's. Very well and beautifully done.

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amnahas
Aug 07, 2015

amnahas thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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quagga Dec 30, 2014

"But the end, Frances wanted to say, was impossible to imagine. It was like the idea that one would grow old, when one was thrumming with youth; like the knowledge that one would die, when one felt full to one's fingertips with life."

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