Friday, August 31, 2012

Literary Friday: The Uninvited Guests

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This week I read The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones.  If I could sum-up my thoughts about this book with one word, it would be creeptastic.  {OK....so I know that "creeptastic" is not a real world, but neither is the macabre world that Sadie Jones creates in this book.  Praise Jesus.}  The book reminds me of Audrey Niffenegger's books:  the reader gets sucked into a good story until BAM! And the reader thinks:  Eeeewwwww~~  GROSS!!!  If you've read The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fateful Symmetry, then you know *exactly* what I mean!

The story's setting is Sterne, an eccentric, somewhat remote country house in County Wicklow. The year is 1912, and of course the Torrington-Swifts all blame the oddness of the house on the Victorians. The exact date is Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday (April 30th) which is also the eve of Beltane (this is not mentioned in the book, but I do think the date is significant). As the family prepares for Emerald's birthday dinner and are expecting house guests for the weekend, a ragtag group of train derailment survivors descend upon Sterne disrupting the festivities.  These uninvited guests seem to increase in number and needs as the night progresses.  Also, ten year old Imogen Torrington, affectionately called Smudge and the youngest Torrington sibling, has determined that the distractions caused by Emerald's party will provide the perfect opportunity for her Great Undertaking.  Smudge was my favorite character in the book, and I admire her guts and glory in implementing the Great Undertaking.  :D

Things begin to get out of hand as one of the uninvited guests begins the cruel drinking game of Hinds and Hounds.  Family secrets are revealed, and hearts are broken.  The game was as close to a social Darwinism experiment one could ever hope for, and I felt awkward reading it. Again, this book is not for the squeamish.  It reminds me of a combination Greek tragedy complete with a Greek chorus of misfits, and an over-the-top Victorian gothic novel. However, all's well that ends well in Sadie Jones' merging of the two genres.



Book trailer for The Uninvited Guests


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Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

6 comments:

  1. A perfect October read! eeeeeeeeeew! :)

    Thank you for hosting!! :)
    ~Liz

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  2. wow sound good will have to check libary for this one

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  3. You know those book reviews that you had to do in high school? this reminds me of them....Really great review. I was horrible at them, but I feel like you probably did really well with those reviews :)...

    P.S. Creeptastic really should be a word.

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  4. An intriguing review and I have read both the Audrey Niffenegger's novels so will leave on my wishlist despite my doubts when you say squeamish. :)

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  5. The Time Traveler's Wife = wonderful and special. Her Fearful Symmetry = creeptastic (you said it best). I think I'll pass although the social Darwinism thing sounds cool; I'll take your word on it that it's awkward.

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  6. Oooh, I want to read this. I almost got it the other day, maybe I will have to now.

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I read and appreciate all of your comments :D