I’m “meeting” a lot of new authors so far this year, and TLC Book Tours has definitely introduced more than their fair share! Today’s tour is for Sadie Jones’ The Uninvited Guests…
About Sadie Jones:
Sadie Jones is the author of the novels The Outcast, winner of the Costa First Novel Award in the United Kingdom and a finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; and Small Wars, a tale of love, war, and honor, which was published to critical praise on both sides of the Atlantic. The Uninvited Guests is her third novel. Sadie Jones lives in London.
About The Uninvited Guests:
One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington’s twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor—and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.
Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant parlor 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 the critically acclaimed Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author triumphs in this frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises—where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety—and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence.
Emerald Torrington is turning twenty, and the house is a mess. Her step-father’s gone out of town to try to take on a loan so they’re not thrown out of their home. Her mother’s a scatter-brained hen. Her brother’s sulks are way past age-appropriate. Her sister’s whimsy at least provides some levity to offset the frustration her uncommon behavior incites.
Then there’s an accident, and the house is filled to the brim with its survivors, in addition to the party guests. Now, the fun begins… Well, depends on your definition of “fun,” I suppose.
The Uninvited Guests is definitely a tragi-comedy of errors, wrapped in snappy and oftentimes sarcastic witticisms. I found that I really didn’t care much for any of the characters, with the exception of Smudge (Imogen, the younger daughter) and maybe Edward (the step-father, whose appearances at the beginning and the end doesn’t give you much cause to not like him). There’s a tad too much of the disaffected in the undercurrents of this house – even in the hustle and bustle and chaos of preparing for the party and seeing to the survivors, I wondered how the family could have been as happy as they proclaimed.
Sadie Jones wrapped it all up nicely, though, and I did enjoy the last part of the book. Which then got me thinking that maybe the whole slew of pages beforehand was a setup for the ending, because the characters I didn’t particularly care for somehow managed to redeem themselves in my eyes by the time I was done.
drey’s rating: Pick it up!
Have you read The Uninvited Guests? What did you think?
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of The Uninvited Guests for you. This one’s open to US & Canada residents. To enter, fill out the form below before February 5th. Good luck!