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The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

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The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

It is after the war (that would be WWI) and the Wrays (widowed Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter Frances) are having difficulty making ends meet.  Left on the verge of destitution by the bad investments of the late Mr. Wray the ladies are forced to let out rooms in their large home, situated in a desirable London neighborhood.  Lodgers are called paying guests among the well-heeled, or in this case formerly well-heeled, hence the title.  The Barbers, a young lower-class married couple, move into the upstairs rooms.  A friendship slowly forms between Mrs. Barber and Frances which blossoms into love.  Will love prevail?

I figured I was in for a family drama of some kind based on the little I knew of the book.  Turns out it was a romance complete with a murder trial at its center.  It is an unsettling look at the lengths people will go for love as well as the frightening position love puts us in: does that person love me as much as I love them?  Or are they just saying they love me?  This book constantly reminds the reader that we only know the thoughts of one character and how unsettling not knowing another’s mind actually is.
By | 2017-05-03T20:31:21+00:00 January 9th, 2015|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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