The Paying Guests

Our final read of 2015 – The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – took us to early 1920s London. After her father’s death, Frances and her mother must take in lodgers: the ‘younger and brasher’ Lillian and Leonard Barber. What follows, as Frances and Lillian begin an affair, is part love story, part thriller: a tale that had us mesmerised. Why did we like it? Partly because it’s beautifully written. Partly because the period – and Frances’ position – is brought so vividly to life. But also because we sympathised with the protagonist. We liked how Frances rolled up her sleeves and kept going despite her circumstances. That she was prepared to take a chance on Lillian. We were less sure of Lillian’s motives. Perhaps – as one member observed – we had to make the same leap of faith as Frances?  A brilliant read to end our year with in any case.

To 2016 now and more books to look forward to:

8 January: Upstairs at the Party by Linda Grant

12 February: Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

11 March: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

8 April: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We’d also like to attract some new members so it would be great if you could spread the word about our meetings. You don’t have to be a ‘new’ parent to attend and it’s fine not to have finished (or even started) the book. And if you’ve any ideas or suggestions for books, or anything else, please let me know here or on our Facebook group page: “New Parents’ Book Group (run by New Writing North)”.

Happy reading.


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