Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Paying Guests

I read The Paying Guest by Sarah Waters for one of my book groups.  We met to discuss it yesterday
and agreed that perhaps the English just have different tastes in books, as it is a best seller over in England.  But then another member pointed out that it is also a best seller here, so that shot down that theory.  While we ended up having quite a good discussion about that book, it wasn’t wildly received by any of us.

The story takes place in 1922 outside of London.  Frances Wray lived in a big, old house with her mother.  Her father and two brothers had died, and they were left there alone to try to manage the home and the expenses.  After deliberation Frances and her mother decided to rent out some rooms to help with their debts, something they would never have dreamed of doing before.  Frances and her mother rented out part of their upstairs to Lenny and Lillie Barber, a working class couple, who came from a very different lifestyle than Frances and her mother.

The first half of the book was somewhat interesting, as the four people living together began to know each other and develop relationships among themselves.  Frances slowly fell in love with Lillie and the first half of the book is spent developing that relationship.

The second half of the book became a mystery who-done-it.  But it lost my interest at that point.  I found it slow-going.  And I never cared about any of the characters.  I didn’t find any of them especially likable.  There were a few twists at the end that added a bit of interest but all-in-all, I just wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.    

1 comment:

Susan Bybee said...

I've been on the fence about this one. Thanks for your review.