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The Paying Guests (Hardback)
  • The Paying Guests (Hardback)

The Paying Guests (Hardback)

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Hardback Published: 28/08/2014
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'There came the splash of water and the rub of heels as Mrs Barber stepped into the tub. After that there was a silence, broken only by the occasional echoey plink of drips from the tap...'Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms - as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.' 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.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9780349004365

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“Full of historical richness...”

Sarah Waters is one of those authors whose presence and renown make me slightly ashamed to admit that this is the very first time I’ve picked up her work. I was won over very quickly with rich period detail, class... More

“Worth persevering if you get half way!”

The Paying Guests was a Read and Review book but I confess that I very nearly gave up on finishing it! The beginning was good and I found it an interesting read however the book quickly became tedious. I am not sure... More

14th September 2014
Helpful? Upvote 2 Downvote 2

“Just brilliant!”

It's 1922 and widowed Mrs Wray and her daughter, Frances are forced to take in a married couple as lodgers to help with the household finances. Lilian and Leonard Barber are a modern, colourful couple who bring a... More

13th September 2014
Helpful? Upvote 3 Downvote 5

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