October 2014 Indie Next List
“At the end of WWI, 26-year-old Frances and her mother find themselves in dire financial circumstances. Both of Frances' brothers died in the war, and now her father's death has left them in debt. Frances and her mother reconfigure their home in a gracious London neighborhood so that they can take in lodgers. From the moment Mr. and Mrs. Barber - the 'paying guests'- arrive, the young couple pulls Frances out of her staid routine, and before long sexual sparks are flying. Waters is a brilliant writer, a master of the hothouse atmosphere and the slow reveal, and her new novel is utterly absorbing.”
— Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer's Bookstore, Chicago, IL
The "New York Times" bestselling novel that has been called a tour de force ("Wall Street Journal)," unputdownable ("The Washington Post"), a delicious hothouse of a novel ("USA Today"), effortless ("The Economist"), seductive ("Vanity Fair") and pitch perfect ("Salon")
Superb, bewitching Forget about "Fifty Shades of Grey"; this novel is one of the most sensual you will ever read, and all without sacrificing either good taste or a "G" rating "NPR "
One of the year's most engrossing and suspenseful novels a love affair, a shocking murder, and a flawless ending Will keep you sleepless for three nights straight and leave you grasping for another book that can sustain that high. " Entertainment Weekly (A rating)"
Volcanically sexy, sizzingly smart, plenty bloody and just plain irresistible." " USA Today (4 stars)"
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.
About the Author
Sarah Waters has a Ph.D. in English literature and has been an associate lecturer withthe Open University. She has won a Betty Trask Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award, the South Bank Show Award for Literature, and her books have been short-listed for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the Man Booker and Orange prizes. In 2003, she was named Author of the Year three times andwas chosen as one of Granta s Best of Young British Novelists.