The Paying Guests
It is 1922, 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 lodgers.
For with 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. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
This time Sarah Waters pays a visit to London of the Roaring Twenties. The men of the family are victims of the war. The women have to rent rooms in their houses to new people with new ideas and new tensions.
Our readers’ choice.
A wonderful novel with its comments on gender and class. A particularly interesting period in Britain’s history post-war. A must-read.