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madbkwm

madbkwm

The Uninvited Guests - Sadie Jones This reminded me a bit of Henry James's book Turning of the Screw. It was a fairly solid ghost story and I enjoyed the time period. It wasn't fabulous, but there were pieces of it that were above average.

I did not like that Emerald was originally described as a child (along with Clovis, who is arguably a child) even though: "yet here she was, once more forced to support her drooping, weak-stemmed, climbing vine of a sun-seeking mother." Emerald is not a child, she is intelligent, and beautiful, and kind; it is Charlotte who is just a beautiful self-indulgent child (despite being the mother).

I also did not like that there were so many expected misunderstandings and cliches (both Emerald and Ernest do not realize that the other is interested; Charlotte is a offended that Camilla does not come because she is worried about her social status, but Camilla is really just ill; Patience is really kind and non-judgemental as her name suggests).

On the other hand, I thought it was remarkably unexpected of John Buchanen (despite the earlier foreshadowing) to end up in bed with Florence. He is so pompous and uptight and snobby that his denouement was a perfect flip. Jones's quip "That knowledge could restore innoncent to him was a marvellous equation" might have been my favorite sentence in the book.

Overall it was a compelling and interesting read, but nothing too exciting.