Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.
I love Sarah Waters. I have enjoyed each and every one of the books she’s written, so I was very excited to discover that another title was being published last fall. What started as excitement turned to downright giddiness when I learned that Juliet Stevenson was narrating the audiobook. I made sure that I was ready to start a new audiobook immediately when it was released. It’s not every day that a beloved author and narrator come together.
The novel begins on the day that Frances Wray and her widowed mother allow a newly married couple to move into their home. Accustomed to a pampered life, Mr. Wray’s death left them with the knowledge that he’d mismanaged the family fortune. Francis, 26 and single, took on all levels of household management, but they still needed “paying guests” to keep their house. While Mrs. Wray was concerned about the social implications of doing so, the arrival of Len and his wife Lillian caused much more upheaval than anyone could ever have imagined.
Juliet Stevenson continues to impress with her narration of this novel. I enjoyed her pacing and tone throughout. Her voices are fantastic. I needed no other queue as to who was speaking at any given time. As with her work on Trespass by Rose Tremain, it was during scenes of high emotion where the power of Stevenson’s narration truly shined. Listening to those moments alone was worth the price of the audiobook.
I really enjoyed The Paying Guests. With Juliet Stevenson at the helm, this was one of my favorite reads of 2014. Here’s to many more new books from Sarah Waters.