Monday, 17 May 2010

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

I'm late to the Sarah Waters fan club but shall be sending away for my badge and password as soon as I've posted tonight.

I had heard increasing amounts about her on blogs/in papers and had heard from her in various forewords and articles on writing so when I spotted two copies of Night Watch in my local library, side by side, I picked one up, took it home and let the unwashed dishes and piles of laundry sit as I lost myself in 1940s London.

This novel is quite exhausting to read as it veers from scenes of almost unbearable tenderness to visceral, horrific blood-filled tableaux without ever missing a beat. The structure of the novel is also a three part step back through time, so that we meet the characters near the end of the decade and pick our way back through their tangled, interwoven pasts.

The main theme seem to be relationships that have run out of steam or never had any steam in the first place; relationships which are based on the premise that "we could be blown to bits tomorrow", (so let's ignore the sensible voices in our heads and the gnawing doubts.)

I finished this book wanting to read it again, and determined to read more Sarah Waters.


  1. I've come across this book quite often. I almost bought it at one point but (perhaps I was on a budget at the time) I didn't actually get it. I'm glad to hear that my instincts had been right in the first place. It sounds like a really interesting read.

    -Lydia @ The Literary Lollipop

    ps. don't worry about the dishes and the laundry. they can wait. :)

  2. Hi Lydia,

    I'd definitely recommend this book but wait until you've not got much on before you start it. I missed an entire day!

  3. I haven't read this one yet, but I have it on my TBR shelves along with The Little Stranger. Fingersmith is one of my favourite books!

  4. Hi Clover,

    I'm thinking of reading The Little Stranger next too. It's so nice to find an author you want to read everything of!