The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

I’m slightly ashamed to say this is the only book by Sarah Waters that I have read, though I have 2 others sitting on my bookshelves that I must pick up. The Paying Guests is brilliant. Set in south London in 1922, it’s the story of Sarah, a ‘spinster’ who lives at home alone with her mother after her brothers have all been killed in the war. To make ends meet, they take in lodgers – paying guests. Lilian and Leonard Barber, a ‘modern couple’, move in to the quiet home and their arrival begins to cause disturbances in more ways than one. There’s a big gear change to the story halfway through when it takes a turn that you’re really not expecting. Sarah Waters writes beautifully, paces the story superbly and continues to hold the tension throughout. Great book.

7 thoughts on “The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

  1. I liked this too – though I loved Fingersmith even more. If that’s one of the ones you have on your bookshelf, read it next!

  2. Just finished reading this -the first book I’ve read by Sarah Waters too – so beautifully written, compelling and page turning. I found it hard to tear myself away from it – loved the unexpected twists and turns. I should read Fingersmith on above recommendation!

  3. Another book chosen by our book group and it certainly gave us much to discuss! Not all of us liked although I was one of those who did! Like Sophie, I haven’t read any of the author’s other books although Fingersmith is on my wish list!

  4. I could not get on with this book and did not finish it, but I loved one of her earlier books, “The Little Stranger”, a creepy ghost story which I found hard to put down.

  5. Nearly quit half way through this book having got bogged down with some aspects. However, I continued to the end and boy was I glad I did. Very good read and such an unexpected finale! Phew!

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