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In many ways Uninvited Guests is a comedy of manners, particularly British in its wit and depreciating sense of humor.
The Torrington household is preparing to celebrate the 20th birthday of their eldest daughter, Emerald. At the same time, Charlotte, Em’s mother, is anxious about the state of Sterne, and whether or not she and her children will be able to stay in the house much longer. Her husband, Edward, leaves on the day of the party to negotiate a home loan in town. That’s the set up. And it’s all very dramatic comedy with some upstairs-downstairs conventions and budding romances among the young people, but things change when there’s word of an accident “on the branch line,” and Charlotte’s past, quite literally, comes knocking on the door!
The Uninvited Guests is quiet and funny and creepy all at once, and I found it to be an enjoyable listen. I have only two criticisms: first, while Kate Reading did a fabulous job for the most part, her interpretations of some of the character affectations seemed a bit off to me. Also, like some other reviewers, I felt the pony situation, though it started off being funny, went on longer than it needed.
Still, if you’re in the mood for turn of the century wit and a bit of the supernatural you could do worse than The Uninvited Guests.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Where does The Uninvited Guests rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Near the top and that's saying something. I listen to many classics.
What did you like best about this story?
Sadie Jones writes about family here--how big it is. Who is in? How do people get left out--or maybe ejected? What happens that might enlarge our idea of family boundaries? The characters are distinctive and their attributes drive the story, as should it should be. I love the funny, dark aspect of the railway accident "blasted survivors" who are somewhere in the big old house as the family dynamic plays itself out. I kept thinking how I'd like to see this story on stage, or well-produced, on screen.
Which scene was your favorite?
The coaxing of the pony down the stairs by all the family and the travelers, too.
Who was the most memorable character of The Uninvited Guests and why?
Who can say Charlotte is more memorable than her neglected daughter Smudge? They are a memorable pair.
Any additional comments?
I will certainly look for other works by this writer. She doesn't skimp on character, but goes deep and real, so the story touches the reader in lasting ways.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful