"A triumph: spellbinding, profound and almost problematically addictive.... Morally complex, atmospheric, romantic and psychologically deep, The Paying Guests is an astonishing achievement and a notable Booker omission." --Daily Express (UK)
The year is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. In South London, in a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as Mrs. Wray and her daughter Frances are obliged to take in lodgers. With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, the routines of the house and the lives of its inhabitants will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will reach. In this psychological and dramatic tour-de-force, beloved international bestseller Sarah Waters proves once again that her eye for the telling details of class and character that draw people together as well as tear them apart is second to none.