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Publisher Description

The New York Times bestselling novel that has been called “a tour de force” (Wall Street Journal), “unputdownable” (The Washington Post), “a delicious hothouse of a novel” (USA Today), “effortless” (The Economist), “seductive” (Vanity Fair) and “pitch perfect” (Salon)
“Superb, bewitching…Forget about Fifty Shades of Grey; this novel is one of the most sensual you will ever read, and all without sacrificing either good taste or a "G" rating” – NPR
“One of the year’s most engrossing and suspenseful novels…a love affair, a shocking murder, and a flawless ending … Will keep you sleepless for three nights straight and leave you grasping for another book that can sustain that high.” — Entertainment Weekly (A rating)

Volcanically sexy, sizzingly smart, plenty bloody and just plain irresistible." —USA Today (4 stars)

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.

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. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize three times, Sarah Waters has earned a reputation as one of our greatest writers of historical fiction, and here she has delivered again. A love story, a tension-filled crime story, and a beautifully atmospheric portrait of a fascinating time and place, The Paying Guests is Sarah Waters’s finest achievement yet.

Fiction & Literature
September 16
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Sadiegirl4 ,

Good story

I enjoyed this book but felt at times it was a little slow, feel it could've been shorter. I like her style of writing and characters.

FrDrFaustus ,

The Paying Guests

I agree with other reviewers that the book is slow at times, but it gets rather fast at other times, and in hindsight the changes in pace make the story much more believable (real life does not progress at a single speed either). The book gives a fascinating glimpse of circumstances and societal currents of postwar England, all delivered with masterful prose and attention to detail. Drama and angst fly high indeed but are completely believable. After a certain point, I could not put the book down anymore. And in the end, I was exhausted but elated by this true work of art.

JLeavesley29 ,

The Paying Guests

Great story, a real page turner!

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