I am not sure why it has taken me so long to discover Sarah Waters but I am definitely a fan. Although mainly set during the war years, it is a not a book about the war but a book about secrets. The book is written in reverse so you meet the characters as they are in 1947 and work backwards to find out how they got there. It is a wonderfully descriptive book, set in London. The scenes set during the bombings of the blitz are very gritty and (presumably) realistic. You feel the danger of living in London at that time.
I thought the characterisations were excellent and it does keep you gripped. Each character has their own distinctive voice. The petty jealousies, insecurities and fears portrayed in the relationships between the female lovers are very believable. You want to know what happens to the four main characters: Kay, Helen, Viv and Duncan. You want to know their histories and how they have coped with the events in their lives. The connections between the main characters and the ways their lives are linked are very believable and not too contrived. The book has a very “realistic” flavour to it, due to the excellent writing style and use of language.
Reading Group member.
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