The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
• Hardcover: 272 pages
• Publisher: Harper (May 1, 2012)
With some apprehension, the Torrington family is about to celebrate the twentieth birthday of Emerald, the second of three children. Their housekeeper, Florence, plans an elaborate dinner for the family and a few close friends. Charlotte and her children—the romantically handsome and callow Clovis; nine-year old Imogen, known as Smudge, who plots a “Great Undertaking” for the evening; and Emerald herself—are disconsolate at the thought of losing Sterne, their beloved family home. Originally purchased by Horace Torrington, Charlotte’s first husband and the children’s father, Sterne has become too expensive for the financially strapped family to maintain.
Since Horace’s death and Charlotte’s remarriage to Edward Swift, the house remains an important link to the past, a symbol of the family’s position that is intertwined with their sense of identity. As Edward sets off for Manchester in hopes of obtaining a loan, the rest of the family begins preparing for the dinner party. An evening unlike any other awaits them.
Little can the Torringtons imagine, that more than just a few intimate friends are about to arrive at Sterne . . .
About Sadie Jones
Sadie Jones’s first novel, The Outcast, won the UK’s coveted Costa First Novel Award and was a finalist for the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She lives in London.
Imagine if you will a cross between Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs but set in a decaying manor in the English countryside.
The main characters in the book are Charlotte, her new husband who is an Irish one armed barrister, and Charlotte's children, Emerald, Clovis and Imogen.
From the get go, I was completely enamored with this book, there really is no other word perfectly able to describe it. I received the book a few days ago and upon opening the first page, I knew that this was going to become one of my favorites and would have it's place on my bookshelf amongst other treasures that I refuse to part with.
As a lover of anything English, the fact that it's very much set in an era that appeals to me, would have been enough to keep me entertained, but when paired with an outstanding author such as Sadie Jones, it just takes it to a whole new level.
Her vivid descriptions of the scenery, of the manson Sterne's atmosphere and surroundings is like none other. You literally feel pulled into the book, it's almost as if you can see, touch, feel and taste everything within it's pages. A sure treat to the senses.
As if the crumbling building and family is not fodder enough for a good read, we get some strangers thrown into the mix, courtesy of a nearby train accident.
And THAT is when the real goodness begins in the story.
The Uninvited Guests is like a little bundle of all the good stuff you could want in a book, you have your Victorian ghost story, you have romance, you have mystery.
I love that the author brings it all full circle, that she not only indulges the reader in some comedic scenes, but throws in the usual romance, jealousy, wariness. We are mere spectators watching this already crumbling family deal with these weird, strange uninvited guests.
Loved this book, can't say it enough, and I think I'll read it again which is a sure sign that I enjoyed it, I don't often do this, I'm more of a "read once, set aside" kinda gal.
Next tour stops:
Tuesday, May 1st: “That’s Swell!”
Wednesday, May 2nd: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, May 3rd: Jenny Loves to Read
Monday, May 7th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, May 8th: Paperback Princess
Thursday, May 10th: Stiletto Storytime
Monday, May 14th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, May 15th: Amused By Books
Wednesday, May 16th: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, May 17th: Picky Girl
Friday, May 18th: Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, May 21st: Life In Review
Tuesday, May 22nd: Wordsmithonia
Wednesday, May 23rd: Colloquium
Thursday, May 24th: Wandering Thoughts of a Scientific Housewife
Monday, May 28th: My Bookshelf
Tuesday, May 29th: The House of the Seven Tails
Wednesday, May 30th: A Library of My Own
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy.