The Paying Guests

The Paying Guests

eBook - 2014
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A truly extraordinary, masterful novel of brilliant storytelling, sensuality, and psychological suspense set in post-WWI London, from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Stranger. Three-time Booker Prize finalist Sarah Waters is at the height of her powers. A psychological and dramatic tour de force from beloved international bestseller Sarah Waters. The year is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. In South London, in a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as Mrs Wray and her daughter Frances are obliged to take in lodgers. With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, the routines of the house and the lives of its inhabitants will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will...
Publisher: 2014.
ISBN: 9780771089435

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ArapahoeJohanna Jul 24, 2018

As a fan of Sarah Water's earlier books, I was a little disappointed in this one. Her writing style is gorgeous as always, but these characters were less compelling than I would have expected from her. The book is claustrophobic, taking place almost entirely in a small townhouse in 1930's London. A woman and her mother are forced to take in lodgers to make ends meet, making their home feel crowded and small, and this feeling permeates the entire book. The entire relationship between the two women takes place within those walls, with their respective mother and husband sometimes just a wall away. It was beautifully written but difficult to read.

Jan 20, 2018

In my opinion, the book is too long, author describes almost in every little detail day after day life of the main character. Although there are some really tense moments. There is a feeling that this book is written by a woman, as it seems to me, not only because an author is a woman, but because a souch tightness in descriptions of woman's love feelings, can be expressed only by woman who lived those feelings.
There is a love relationship between two women, and their struggle in overcoming all possible obstacles, including a crime.
The ending didn't impress me.

ArapahoeAnnaL Dec 14, 2017

The setting is post WWI London, experiencing post traumatic stress; the characters are from the upper and the "clerk" classes; the plot is reminiscent of Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment."

The “volcanically sexy” (USA Today) bestseller about a widow and her daughter who take a young couple into their home..." Named a 2014 best book!

LPL_KimberlyL Sep 28, 2017

I read this book over two years ago, but I continue to think about it on a regular basis. Sarah Waters is a mastermind when it comes to compelling stories and richly detailed historical fiction. Her writing style is so lush and well-researched, you almost feel as if you are a time traveler! If you have yet to read any of her works, this is a great place to start.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

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Aug 07, 2015

amnahas thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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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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