The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
(Riverhead Books, 2014, 564 pages)
I listened to the audio version of The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters because it had received a good review in a library journal. Others I talked to found the print book to be long, detailed, and slow-moving. The audio version was also pretty long (21.5 hours), but I found the details interesting, so it didn’t move too slowly for me. The narrator, Juliet Stevenson, did an amazing job of providing each character (and there were a lot of them) with a distinct voice. A later Google search revealed that she is an English actress who has appeared in numerous films and theater productions and has been nominated for several awards. Ms. Stevenson should probably win an award for her performance of this book.
Without giving too much away, The Paying Guests is a mystery, beginning with a young couple moving into the upstairs of a home owned by a mother and daughter. Soon the daughter, in her 20s, begins to have an affair with the wife of the couple. As the affair progressed, I kept waiting for the ax to fall, assuming that this can’t possibly end well. Surprise–I was right. Anyway, I thought this was a well-written book worthy of a listen by a wonderful narrator.