"A brilliant novel...At once a shimmering comedy of manners and disturbing commentary on class." (Ann Patchett). One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honour of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of ...
"A brilliant novel...At once a shimmering comedy of manners and disturbing commentary on class." (Ann Patchett). One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honour of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savoury survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor - and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief. One of their number (who is most definitely not a gentleman) makes it his business to join the birthday revels. Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant game threatens to blow respectability to smithereens: Smudge Torrington, the wayward youngest daughter of the house, decides that this is the perfect moment for her Great Undertaking. The Uninvited Guests is the bewitching new novel from number one bestseller Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author of The Outcast triumphs in this frightening yet sinister drama of dark surprises - where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety - and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence.
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I was expecting from the description that this was written in the time period in which it occurred. If it were a period piece, I would have been happier with it, I think. All that aside, the book was a bit tedious to read, but gives a glimpse of the culture of the time period, how different classes lived, and interacted. It allows you to find out in the end who is decent and kind, and who is not. And an important question is addressed - what does one do when one is no longer rich, but refuses to give up the lifestyle that a home represents?
Jan 5, 2013
Not as lighthearted as it looked
I find the book, in one sense, a little "subversive" - in that it purports to be a lighthearted novel, but one scene towards the end reveals a dark side that is... unsettling, not to say, a bit dismaying. I was not left with the upbeat feeling I look for in a novel.
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