Historical Fiction

Books like The Paying Guests

The Paying Guests

2014, Sarah Waters


The Paying Guests is a 2014 novel by Welsh author Sarah Waters. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and named "Fiction Book of the Year" by The Sunday Times who said that "this novel magnificently confirms Sarah Waters' status as an unsurpassed fictional recorder of vanished eras and hidden lives."

The book is set in 1922 in Camberwell where spinster Frances lives with her genteel mother Mrs Wray and mourns the death of her brothers in the Great War. Her father has died leaving considerable debts and they are obliged to take in lodgers: Lilian and Leonard Barber of the "clerk class". The guests bring with them colour, fun and music but also stir dangerous desires in Frances.

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