❤ [KINDLE] ❃ The Paying Guests By Sarah Waters ➣ – Saudionline.co.uk

The Paying Guests pdf The Paying Guests, ebook The Paying Guests, epub The Paying Guests, doc The Paying Guests, e-pub The Paying Guests, The Paying Guests cd979501ff8 The Volcanically Sexy USA Today Bestseller About A Widow And Her Daughter Who Take A Young Couple Into Their Home In S LondonIt Is , 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 LodgersWith 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 BeShort Listed For The Man Booker Prize Three Times, Sarah Waters Has Earned A Reputation As One Of Our Greatest Writers Of Historical Fiction


10 thoughts on “The Paying Guests

  1. says:

    After two years of waiting for Sarah Waters new novel to come out, reading this actually made me want to cry a little I don t know what to say When a book this terrible is written by an author that we know is capable of so much , it feels like a personal affront After a fantastic debut and decades of decent novels, what the hell went so wrong with The Paying Guests How could our fair Sarah do this to us It s all pretty simple The problem with this book is that Sarah Waters got famous Seriously Think about it Waters is adored in the literary world, half of her books have been turned into BBC dramas, and she s got awards up the wazoo than Teen Mom Farrah has glass dongs up the nevermind My point is, Sarah Waters is powerful enough that no one questions her any The New York Times, FT, and the Guardian are going to laud her no matter what she writes making her clean up the crap isn t worth the trouble.And judging from The Paying Guests, no editor dared email her to let her know she was repeating herself on every goddamn page, or to suggest she rewrite some of the suckier parts.The result is a multitude of cringe worthy passages She seemed to have lost a layer of skin, to be kissing not simply with her lips but with her nerves, her muscles, her blood EW They smiled at each other across the table, and some sort of shift occurred between them There was a quickening, a livening Frances could think of nothing to compare it with save some culinary process It was like the white of an egg growing pearly in hot water, a milk sauce thickening in the pan Huh How romantic It was like being parched, and touching water, like being famished, and holding food Sigh Goddammit I m sure some junior editor making 20 grand a year at some London publishing house wasn t about to fire off an email to the great Sarah Waters saying, Hi S Just got the feedback from the boys upstairs Please rework the above mentioned passages, cut about 30 pages from the melodramatic self induced abortion scene it seems all you do is repeat the words moan and pale and blood for several pages , make it harder to see the stupid plot twist coming from 100 pages away, and narrow the last 250 pp of legal drivel down to 75 Also, can you go for something other than the 1920s English domestic novel It s duller than deadly nightshade Finally, please give the two main characters personalities so that readers can tell them apart Perhaps make them lifelike characters that readers can despise, root for, or at least care about and less like words on the page.Happy to receive your rewrites by Monday at 5 Cheers Yeah I didn t think so Since the people working for her won t say anything, I will Sarah, you re great when you try So please try harder Sorry to do this to you, butSUCKED.


  2. says:

    I struggled through this book, and I DO mean struggled I usually finish a book within three days, even one as lengthy as this one It took me over a week to read this novel and I did not find it enjoyable I am new to Sarah Waters though I ve had her novel, Fingersmith, recommended to me in the past.I found The Paying Guests to be overwritten and overwrought Frances, the protagonist, is given to internal meanderings that repeat themselves over and over again A good third of this book could have been edited out without doing it any harm.Frances Wray lives with her mother in a nice area of London The setting is just after World War I Frances s father has died a few years before and has left Frances and her mother in poor economic straits due to carelessness and poor investments To make matters a bit easier, they take in boarders, or paying guests These boarders are Lilian and Leonard Barber, both from the clerk class , a little less brahmin in character than the Wrays In London, during those times, this is important.At one time, Frances was an activist and a feminist She is now a spinster in her twenties, helping her mother with housework and cooking She had a lover once, a woman named Christina, who she gave up in order to stay with her mother She is still friends with Christina who is now living with her female lover, Stevie.Frances gradually falls for Lilian Barber and their friendship and burgeoning romance is the subject of the first and second part of the book The book has three parts and it moves very slowly, without much action, until the end of the second part I found myself reading and putting the book down over and over again I picked it up each time with trepidation Would anything ever happen Something does happen However, it happens so late in the book that I was tired of it all I just wanted it to end By the time I finished, I felt exhausted from my reading experience.


  3. says:

    this is another stunner from sarah waters, who seems to be back to her full strength after the divisive The Little Stranger this book, to me, was nearly as good as the unbeatable Fingersmith this is her first novel set just post WWI, and it is such a perfect setting for her to be writing in, considering her typical themes of gender and class WWI was an unprecedented situation for england, with far reaching and unforeseen consequences affecting those left behind while the boys were off fighting, the women were left behind to pick up the slack, and were granted employment and social opportunities than they had previously enjoyed when the men came back, those who managed to survive the fighting, they were frequently unable to find work, and were resentful, suspicious, and frequently even violent towards women who had become almost a different species in their absence these men didn t fit into the postwar world, they were diminished their prospects had vanished the end of the fighting and the return of the men affected the women, too, who had flourished in the relaxation of public scrutiny, in the different demands of a world without men, especially those women who were not looking for a husband to take care of them which brings us to frances frances is adjusting to the postwar climate as best as she is able she is unmarried, her father and brothers have died, and she and her mother s social position has altered drastically her father s mismanagement of their finances has forced them to go without servants, leaving the household chores to frances herself the possibilities the war offered to women like frances have evaporated, and she is as resentful as the returned soldiers, her prospects just as dried up, her life reduced to scrubbing the floor on her hands and knees day after day in order to bring in some money, she and her mother suffer the further humiliation of taking on boarders, or as they are elegantly termed, paying guests, renting out a portion of their overlarge house to a lower class young couple, lilian and leonard barber the arrival of the barbers is jarring to frances they are young, modern, and unfettered by the genteel manners to which she is accustomed, even though she herself has had a flirtation with impropriety during the war which landed her both in jail and into the arms of another woman but now she is on her own, trying desperately to keep up appearances for the sake of her pride and the comfort of her mother, and the barbers are a necessary evil to be endured.what follows is a difficult period of adjustment, where the boundaries between private and public spaces blur, the most tense and awkward game of snakes ladders ever is played, the forced intimacy of the lodgers breaks down several different types of barriers, and then something awful, horrible, terrible occurs one of the most intensely graphic scenes i have ever read which then paves the way for a series of increasingly precarious situations compromising all of the characters.it s a good thing frances is so good at keeping secrets.sarah waters is just so, so good she has written a deeply romantic, morally complicated book that is a triumph both as historical fiction and as a character rich psychological suspense thriller it lacks the mind bending loyalty shifts that made Fingersmith such an outstandingly original work, but this stands firmly on its own, and is a definite must read.GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIEthree months later I HAVE IT I HAVE IT I HAVE ITALL MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE come to my blog


  4. says:

    Up until now, I have not read Sarah Waters But if any of her previous books are half as compelling and page turning as The Paying Guest, I have a big treat to look forward to in the near future.To sum it up in three words it s a stunner Any exploration of the plot will spoil the carefully constructed narrative with its unexpected twists and turns The bare bones are these Frances Wright, considered a spinster at age 27 and believed a little odd because she is a lesbian, lives with her newly impoverished mother in an upscale south part of London Due to the ravages of the first world war, she and her mother are forced to accept lodgers euphemistically called paying guests a young couple, Leonard and Lilian Barber, of the clerk class There are fractures in the couple s marriage and soon, the situation will turn dire and fraught with consequences.Why did I love it First, the book is psychologically gripping It alternately deals head on with the thorniest of moral issues, including guilt, shame, and desperate hidden love Secondly, the depiction of the postwar social landscape is meticulously painted The class distinctions, the rise of the clerk class, the pretensions of the upper class, the undeserved elitism, are flawlessly rendered Historically, too, this book is a winner, revealing the dashed hopes of ex soldiers, the shifting expectations of the various classes, and the s and manners of the 1920s Lastly, the careful look at England s system of justice seems like it s an anachronism in our high tech world, and that s what makes it so very fascinating It s like being permitted a glimpse into a time capsule into a society where everything was markedly different than it is today.Exquisitely atmospheric, filled with psychological nuances, and laden with anticipation and suspense, The Paying Guests is a can t put down read, told by a consummate storyteller It is nearly 600 pages and yet I wished it had gone on for twice that long.


  5. says:

    Turn off the phone, unplug the television, call in sick to work Just do it now, before you open the front cover to The Paying Guests, so you won t have to tear yourself away later on It s 1922 and life in a dull London suburb has become one of drudgery and tedium for Frances Wray Single, in her late 20s, and living with her widowed mother, Frances has narrowed her world to a pinpoint of housework and Wednesday trips to the cinema Her older brothers were killed in the war and her father s shady financial dealings left her and her mother in ruin, without even a cook or a lady s maid A further domestic insult opens the story the Wrays are forced to take in lodgers, those paying guests Enter stage left Lilian and Leonard Barber, she blowsy but sweet, he rakish and flirtatious in a way that leaves Frances slightly queasy The reader, too The small indignities of sharing a home the trips through the Wray s kitchen to access the outdoor toilet the coughs and blowing noses and creaking of floor overhead, the chance meetings on the landing in one s dressing gown Sarah Waters chronicles quotidian life in such excruciating detail that we feel as claustrophobic and impinged upon as Frances But we know we must suffer, for how else will the butcher and gasman be paid at the end of the month And Voil the genius of Sarah Waters Her scene setting is so exact, so rich and full, the reader is wholly transported to a place and time She renders the feel of fabrics, the scent of cigarettes and sweat, the cool damp of a garden at night, the weight of a body dragged through the ripe mud, the electric touch of a lover s hand slipping over soft, eager skin If you have read any other of Waters lush fiction, you ll know she sets the bar in the stratosphere when it comes to historical fiction and character depth No crumpet is left untoasted No heart left unscathed.But this is so much than a set piece The Paying Guests is a crime thriller, to be sure, and something of a courtroom drama in its final chapters but at its heart, it is the exploration of a woman s soul Frances Wray, tucked awkwardly between the end of the Edwardian era and the beginning of the Jazz Age, is stifled by time, culture, and sexual s that deny her of her very essence She has already paid a stiff price for a previous romance with a woman to acknowledge that she has fallen in love again would be to open the door to her final ruin Yet, Frances is wonderfully, admirably comfortable with her sexuality It is society that cannot accept her as she is Ironically, it is this very society Frances allows to strap her down She could, as her former lover has done, shuffle off to London only a few tram stops away and live a far freer life Yet, she chooses her duty to her mother and manor and remains in a house that produces dust, as flesh oozes sweat And oh, those choices Worse follows bad and the reader sits with her hand pressed to her throat as she breathlessly turns the pages I remain deliberately oblique about the plot, for any further comments would produce only spoilers Don t be intimidated by this tome s heft Once started, you will not want to stop.


  6. says:

    Look, I can sit here all day and give you bogus reasons why I picked up Sarah Waters The Paying Guests It s a lush historical novel It s written by a well respected author known for her twists on that literary genre It made just about all the top ten lists of 2014 Yes, I could say all those things, and you might even believe me It s not true, though And if I can t be honest with an online book club, mostly filled with people I ve never met, then honesty doesn t mean a thing The Paying Guests caught my eye because of the lesbian sex There, I said it I d never heard of Sarah Waters before Nothing about the title or cover of The Paying Guests caught my eye or attention Then, somehow or other, I heard about the plot, and the part of me that never progressed beyond a fourteen year old boy took notice So I picked up this book with the vague idea that it was kinky Sapphic erotica burnished with a literary pedigree Two things 1 It is decidedly not Sapphic erotica and 2 It is an awesome book First things first Everyone who writes about this book has to, at some point, mention the lesbian angle It is not merely a curiosity, but the plot driver Unfortunately, it is also extremely reductive, and does a disservice to Waters novel I realize that as I say this, I come off as a hypocrite, since that s the whole reason I cracked this book in the first place But there it is They don t pay me enough to not be hypocritical and internally illogical The Paying Guests is better described as a love story and at its core, it is rather traditional, a classic love triangle between a man and two women, with one important twist Hint it involves the two women ignoring the man One of the characters could realistically be described as a lesbian, but she is never identified with such directness, and Waters is far concerned with emotional entanglements than sexual identification That character is Frances Wray She lives with her widowed mother in a fine old house on Champion Hill in the Camberwell district of London The year in 1922, and England is still in the aftershocks of the great convulsion of World War I The Wray family, once part of the British upper class, has fallen on hard times Two Wray sons have died in the war Frances father is also dead, and has left a legacy of poor investments and debt In order to keep the Champion Hill house, Frances and her mother have to take in tenants These are the euphemistically named paying guests of the title Enter Lilian and Leonard Barber They are a modern, upwardly mobile couple, with Leonard a part of England s burgeoning professional class This disconcerts Mrs Wray, who belongs to the Downton Abbey set, for whom a good name and good breeding are far important than things like a profession or actual cash on hand Frances is initially unsure how to feel with the new couple in the house She had done her best to get it all right But seeing Mrs Barber going about, taking possession, determining which of her things would go here, which there, she felt oddly redundant as if she had become her own ghost.Later, Frances who went through a Bohemian phase before the War, which included a girlfriend she still visits takes a keen interest in Lillian, and the two become friends How little the two of them knew each other, really They were practically strangers She hadn t had an inkling of Lillian s existence until six weeks before Now she d catch herself thinking of her at all sorts of odd moments, always slightly surprised when she did so, able to follow the thought backward, stage by stage, link by link, this idea having been called to mind by that one, which in turn had been suggested by that But they all had their finish at Lillian, wherever they started.Eventually, Lillian and Frances become lovers This would be a strained situation in any time husband, wife, lover, all sharing the same house but the tension is heightened by taking place in the 1920s I could say , but I won t Recently, I read Daphne du Maurier s Rebecca, which turned out to be one of the pleasanter literary experiences I ve had in awhile My enjoyment came from everything being a surprise I didn t know the twists and turns beforehand Rebecca and The Paying Guests share several similar traits, not the least of which is that I ve read them both in close relation to each other Both books give you a twist on the classic love triangle Both feature houses as a major character Both start quite slow And both end extremely fast I hesitated to recommend Rebecca to others, just as I hesitate to recommend The Paying Guests It s not because I don t like them To the contrary, I loved them both But they require a certain kind of reader, with a certain kind of patience The Paying Guests is a novel about details The slow, steady accretion of details For a long time, this is an observational novel, tightly focused on Frances and told from a limited third person point of view A couple hundred pages go by in which the only set pieces are a trip to a skating rink and a boisterous family dinner For those wanting to know about the sex, it comes sometime after page 200 There is something of Dickens in this story The meandering plot The wide arc of secondary characters A creeping sense of aimlessness.At a certain point, the plot clicks into place Once it does, all the languidness, all the narrative uncertainty, disappears, and everything comes into focus The book seamlessly transforms into a breathless kind of thriller that has you skimming the words on the page to find out what happens next which, of course, is a shame, because Waters is a beautiful writer One of my resolutions for 2015 is a little biblio financial restraint I am constantly and impulsively purchasing books, and the pile has grown so high that an entire bookcase is devoted to them Sometimes I pass that bookcase and marvel at all the time I need and will never get to finish all those books The Paying Guests was the last thing I read in 2014 It also destroyed my 2015 resolution in its first hours, since I have already bought out Sarah Waters back catalogue If The Paying Guests is any indication, it will be a good investment, if I ever get around to reading them.


  7. says:

    It s with a heavy heart I have decided I am not going to finish reading this properly I did, in fact, read than halfway through before skimming the whole of the rest, right to the end, so really I could claim it as read and give it a rating, but I m not going to I was looking forward to reading it so much, and am so disappointed I didn t like it.Waters last book, The Little Stranger, is one of my favourite books of all time, although the general consensus is that it is quite different from the rest of her work, and many readers think it is her worst I enjoyed Fingersmith, which was truly unputdownable and very emotive, if also quite depressing Affinity I found rather dreary though not without its merits Of these, I feel The Paying Guests has the most in common with Affinity It is certainly dreary, and while beautifully written it is incredibly dull, so dull I would have given up much, much sooner had it been the work of an author I was unfamiliar with The entirety of the first half was boring mainly building up to a development that every reader will surely anticipate from the first page, so there is no suspense but I slogged on through, only to be confronted with another twist incident that was also dull and somewhat predictable I also didn t warm to Frances, the protagonist, at all I found her a cold, hard character with few sympathetic qualities At times, I felt I really disliked her, although I couldn t quite put my finger on why she just seemed like quite an unpleasant person, to me I found her pursuit of Lilian pushy and manipulative, and I couldn t stop thinking about how horrified I would have been by some of her actions and thoughts had she been a male character With, for example, Faraday in The Little Stranger, this sort of thing didn t spoil the story because he isn t supposed to be likeable you re supposed to think he s a creep, that s part of the plot But I felt I was meant to like Frances, to want her to get her way , and I just didn t I preferred Lilian and felt rather sorry for her, but she never seemed to be fleshed out properly and was only seen through Frances eyes Frances mother was very peripheral and Leonard was an obvious sleazeball All in all, not a group of people whose fates I could bring myself to care about.By the time I reached the halfway mark I had a resolute gut feeling that I wasn t going to like the book no matter what it would have taken something miraculous to change my mind It even made me question whether I would really like The Little Stranger that much if I re read it now maybe my tastes have changed so much I wouldn t I have, after all, struggled to enjoy any historical fiction in recent times, and have frequently been disappointed with historical novels others have loved, such as the much f ted debut The Miniaturist which itself was compared to Waters I m sorry, Karen The ARC will be finding its way to someone who will appreciate it than I did, I promise


  8. says:

    Sarah Waters wrote Fingersmith and so attained semi divine status in 2002 I really um and ah about reading anything else by one of my 5 star authors because the only way is down The last two from SW The Little Stranger The Night Watch never reached out tentacled appendages and bade me read them, but this one did.And I m in two minds about it, which is almost two whole minds than usual DIALOGUE BETWEEN PB S TWO MINDS What have you been doing for the last 3 days Reading this 564 big pages whopper at great speed Did you like it as you were hoovering up the plangent prose Yes For sure I know, I was there But, ermm, I thought that, er, maybe, just maybe, there were things that went on a bit too long and other things that didn t go on long enough Genius literary criticism worthy of David Foster Wallace Can you expand on that a bit That was a little too cryptic for me Well, it s really hard to talk about this novel in ANY kind of detail because it s 100% about the plot, and the plot is a very simple thing, as a raindrop is simple, until its light refracts through a prism Okay now you re trying too hard Give me an example of something which didn t go on long enough I mean this is a pretty long novel, yeah The sex Ha, well, now you re just being sleazy, if you want to read Adult Romances there are other books, and I m sure some of them are tales of lesbian lust set in the 1920s No doubt websites too Try www.sapphicflappers.com No but I thought these two lovely characters deserved a bit of a good time before the Things that I Cannot Mention happened It just wasn t fair Only real life is fair, fiction never is And also some of the Things That I Cannot Mention kind of got repeated than somewhat And it was all a bit angst Rather a lot of teeth grinding and snuffling into pocket handkerchiefs It was a costume drama White faces behind veils The accused with bad teeth And yet, little gracehoper, you didn t stop reading it until the very last page, and I think if there was another 200 pages you d have read those too, with relish Oh yes, I thought she wrapped it up far too abruptly It was a bit too much in one bound Jack was free or in their case Jacqueline So I m confused What do we think Well, this is why we re in two minds Ah yes Hmmm Hmmm Four stars then Well, it can t be five, because of the meagre amount of sex, and because it surely isn t as good as the shattering Fingersmith So, yes, four stars it is.The two minds converge Ka plunk


  9. says:

    I felt a personal link to this story in 1922, my Nana, Florence, was the same age as the character, Frances Wray Two brothers, George and Edwin served in WWI and during that war they made a reciprocal promise to each other Nana was engaged to George but sadly, he was killed just days before the war ended Edwin came home to fulfil his part of the promise he married Florence, who would become my Nana The death of Florence s father and two older brothers in the war meant the family money transferred to the next living male relative, a cousin Florence and Edwin kept her four youngest siblings out of an orphanage by electing to bring the children into their home They raised Florence s siblings and four of their own children Another example of how the WWI changed lives for those at home 1922 and England is still recovering from the war, especially in the Wray household Their reduced circumstances and the loss of the Wray sons and father, have made times tough for the Mrs Wray and Miss Frances Wray of Champion Street The paying guests, Leonard and Lillian Barber are the new additions to the household This couple will bring monumental change into the house in Champion Street, in ways neither of the Wrays could have predicted The friendship between Lillian and Frances begins when they read the novel, Anna Karenina, and discuss their reactions to the novel and it s characters A love triangle evolves at Champion Street as the months progress but this is a love triangle, which is surprising to all, both the characters and the reader As the months pass and the feelings of passion grow, they bring about a climax, which may change all of their fates I don t want to give too much of the plot away it is best discovered by reading the novel.Waters has created an intricate and compound story with esoteric characters She weaves her plot, building the story seductively it s rhythm very much akin to pace of a burgeoning affair, anticipatory, sensory and taut The story deals with moral issues, postwar England and the realisation of forbidden love it is a story of both sensual discovery and a psychological drama Incredibly atmospheric, The Paying Guests is a stunning offering by an already well established author 4.5


  10. says:

    There is so much to like about this book Sarah Waters slowly and exquisitely sets her scene, 1922 London after World War I Frances Wray and her mother live in an aging home in a genteel London neighborhood Their fortunes have suffered due to unfortunate investments and they are forced to take in boarders, called paying guests The boarders are a young married couple, Lilian and Leonard Barber This simple act of economy has unintended consequences that transforms lives forever.I don t want to give too much away by revealing the details of the plot I will say that what started out as a lovely piece of historical fiction turned into something else entirely It became a bit of an erotic gothic potboiler, although with a modern twist, and then a mystery and suspense novel Until the very end, I was not sure how it would end Some thoughts the book is beautifully written If you enjoy language and prose and leisurely and nuanced writing, you will certainly like Sarah Waters She does a superb job of creating atmosphere and the milieu of post World War I London I do feel it was overlong it seems like I am always saying this lately, so perhaps this is just a bias of mine It lagged in the middle third of the book it got repetitive, I felt like Frances and Lilian kept having the same conversations over and over The last third was suspenseful but felt artificial Waters kept slipping in red herrings to misdirect the reader, but it felt forced None of it seemed very likely to me, especially the neatly wrapped up ending.This is a 3.5 for me Full of promise at the start but ultimately misses the mark at the end.


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