Monday, September 25, 2006

94. "The Night Watch" ~ Sarah Waters

Secrets and silence are key to a Sarah Waters book. In this novel, the focus is on the lives of several Londoners whose weblike connections create both security and secrecy in World War II.

Three things fascinate me about this novel. First, the intricacy of detail and description. I know that all good books begin with the characters, but Waters has a gift of writing more deeply, finding the slight quirks that create memorable beings. Also, she writes about gay and lesbian themes with amazing aplomb and accuracy. It is painful to see the torment of Kay, Helen, and Diana as they love privately, even afraid of their neighbors' talk.

But the main thing that amazed me - and is probably one of the reasons why this book has been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction - is the chronology of the book, which begins post-war with the characters still keeping secrets that aren't revealed until the end of the book, translating into the beginning of the war.
4.25 out of 5.0 Silent Erasers.


Renee ( said...

I stumbled onto your blog a few days ago and since then, I've been reading through all the book reviews, both adding and subtracting some from my own list.

I really enjoyed "The Night Watch" too and I just wanted to recommend another of Sarah Waters's books, "Fingersmith." It's fantastic! One of my newest favorites.

Good luck with all your future reading endeavors! 150 books in a year is amazing. Bravo!

Kristin Dodge said...

Thanks, Renee, and I'm grateful for the recommendation. Another one added to the list.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this book. Love this blog for its memory prompts.

I hope you continue to read and pipe up when you have an opinion!