Monday, January 28, 2013

book review: The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones

The backstory: After adoring Small Wars, the last novel by Sadie Jones, so much it made my Best of 2011 list, I was eager to read her newest novel, The Uninvited Guests.

The basics: The Uninvited Guests is all about one night in 1912 at the Torrington family's country estate. It is the 20th birthday of Emerald Torrington, but when there is a train accident nearby, all of the survivors come to the home.

My thoughts: I had high hopes for The Uninvited Guests based on both the rave review Audra gave it and my own enjoyment of Small Wars. For whatever reason, I failed to connect with The Uninvited Guests and didn't enjoy it. I did, however, enjoy the writing immensely, and it was enough to keep me reading when I might have otherwise cast this novel aside. Despite Jones' beautifully descriptive writing, the characters never came alive for me. In a comedy of manners (of sorts), characters are crucial, but these held no intrigue for me. In many ways, this novel defies categorization, a trait I often love, but here its quirks struck me as odd rather than endearing. Ultimately, I wanted to like this book but I didn't. In deference to Jones, I'm tempted to blame my stressful month and not her novel, so perhaps I'll pick this one up again some day and see if it is me or the book.

Favorite passage: "Edward fell in love as deeply as Charlotte grieved, and there in the far-down places of sorrow and sex they met."

The verdict: Despite enjoying the writing, the characters fell flat for me in this novel. I couldn't make myself believe they were real, and thus their actions bored me.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Length: 288 pages
Publication date: May 1, 2012
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy The Uninvited Guests from the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version.)

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  1. This was such a strange book, and ultimately,I didn't love it.

  2. I loved Small Wars, too, but I don't think this one is my cup of tea.

  3. OH, that's a bummer. I've been wanting to read this one for ages. I heard it was quite witty, but nothing worse than not being able to contact. Perhaps I'll hold off.

  4. It's disappointing when you expect to really like a book, but don't.

  5. Sorry this one didn't work for ya. I've seen mostly positive reviews. Haven't read Sadie Jones yet, but I'm eager to try something of hers.

  6. I've been hearing mixed things about this book. Although I'm still intrigued by it, I don't think I will like it too much though. Oh well..

  7. I had similar problems with this one. It story was ok but there were too many odd characters and I couldn't connect with any of them.

  8. I enjoyed the book despite the assortment of characters.

    Nice review. Nice blog. New E-mail subscriber.

    I like the books you have listed for February...they look good. I am reading THE HOUSE GIRL.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

  9. The Uninvited Guests started out really slow for me as well and I was worried I was going to be disappointed. Once Charlotte descends the staircase and saw Charlie there, I was finally hooked.

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!