Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Paying Guests

I really enjoyed Sarah Waters' The Paying Guests. This engrossing story chronicles the course of a love affair that becomes entangled with a murder story. Set in 1922 London after the war, The Paying Guests' heroine is Frances, the 28 year old spinster living with her mother in a house they can no longer afford, and which carries the sad memories of two brothers who died in the war. They take in lodgers and from there the story develops.

Waters is amazing at details and nuances which create a vivid texture of emotional realism. Her work is almost always page-turning and compelling, and The Paying Guests is no different. However, the narrative is a bit more linear, with fewer twists and turns than some of her other work, such as Fingersmith, and as much as I like this novel, it seemed a less sophisticated accomplishment.

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