Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Latest Listen

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Publisher: Recorded Books
Length: 18 hrs and 54 mins

"Sarah Waters, whose works set in Victorian England have awards and acclaim and have reinvigorated the genres of both historical and lesbian fiction, returns with a novel that marks a departure from nineteenth century and a spectacular leap forward in the career of this masterful storyteller. Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit liasons, and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch tells the story of Londoners; three women and a young man with a past--whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in ways that are surprising and not always known to them. In wartime London, the women work--as ambulance drivers, ministry clerks, and building inspectors. There are feats of heroism, epic and quotidian, and tragedies both enormous and personal, but the emotional interiors of her characters Waters captures with absolute clarity and intimacy. Waters describes with perfect knowingness the taut composure of a rescue worker in the aftermath of a bombing, the idle longing of a young woman for her soldier lover, the peculiar thrill of a convict watching the sky ignite through the bars on his window, the hunger of a woman stalking the streets for encounter, and the panic of another who sees her love affair coming end. At the same time, Waters is in absolute control of a narrative that offers up subtle surprises and exquisite twists, even as it depicts the impact of grand historical events on individual lives."


Anonymous said...

I adore Sarah Waters's books, but I prefer Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith to Night Watch. Anything she writes is gold, though.

Stephanie said...

My first Waters novel was Affinity, which I absolutely loved. I've also read Fingersmith, which was great, too. This one is not what I expected--different tone, different style.