One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor - and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.
The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan. As the passengers wearily search for rest, the house undergoes a strange transformation. One of their number (who is most definitely not a gentleman) makes it his business to join the birthday revels.
Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant parlor game threatens to blow respectability to smithereens: Smudge Torrington, the wayward youngest daughter of the house, decides that this is the perfect moment for her Great Undertaking.
The Uninvited Guests is the bewitching new novel from the critically acclaimed Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author triumphs in this frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises - where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety - and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence.
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And You Think You’re Haunted By Your Past!
An engaging, tightly written story.
Near the top and that's saying something. I listen to many classics.
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.
The coaxing of the pony down the stairs by all the family and the travelers, too.
Who can say Charlotte is more memorable than her neglected daughter Smudge? They are a memorable pair.
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.