Publication: NZ BookLovers

The Uninvited Guests, by Sadie Jones, reads a bit like an Oscar-Wildean type of play: there are the upper class Edwardians – perfectly groomed and mannered characters; the beautiful English manor setting; and a plot that involves a sequence of incredible occurrences, which turns this well presented facade upside down.

The beginning of the novel introduces the stately, yet slowly dilapidating household of the Torrington/Swift family in the midst of a financial dilemma which is threatening the sale of their beloved house, “Sterne.” As Edward Swift, the new husband of Charlotte – and much-resented stepfather to Clove, Emerald and Smudge – prepares to leave for the city to beg for a loan from “an industrialist of low morals”, Emerald is also trying to organise her twentieth birthday party, for whom the guests will be arriving in the afternoon.

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