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The Paying Guests

Sarah Waters.
Publisher Riverhead  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9781594633928
Pages/Publication Date 571/2014
Daedalus Item Code 73793
List Price: $17.00
Sale Price: $5.98
You Save: $11.02
Our Picks New Arrivals Notable Book
(Named a Best Book or Notable Book of 2014 by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, NPR, and London's Guardian and Telegraph) Three times a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and twice for the Orange Prize, as well as a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award, Sarah Waters follows up The Little Stranger with this mesmerizing tale that begins with an impoverished widow and her daughter in 1922 England. The city is tense: ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a large, silent Camberwell villa now bereft of even servants, Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter Frances are obliged to take in lodgers. Little do the Wrays know how profoundly the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the "clerk class," will shake up the routines of the house and alter the course of Frances's life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, those disturbances will be.

"Sarah Waters is so skillful that the reader (to borrow a simile from Lilian and Frances' love affair) softens in her hands like wax: It's impossible to think critically about technique or style or plot—or do anything but turn the next page. The Paying Guests makes for a transporting, even rapturous, reading experience."—NPR

"You open The Paying Guests and immediately surrender to the smooth assuredness of Sarah Waters's silken prose.... You cannot choose but read. The book has you in thrall. You will follow Waters and her story anywhere.... A novel that initially seems as if it might have been written by E.M. Forster darkens into something by Dostoevsky or Patricia Highsmith. It also becomes unputdownable.... The reader is in for a seriously heart-pounding roller-coaster ride."—Washington Post

"Waters excels at presenting the raw interiority of a quietly heroic woman, slightly too ahead of her time.... A poignant love story which symbolically sees in the death of the old order, the death of the old-fashioned husband and maybe the birth of an era of love without secrets."—Independent (London)

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