If it were possible to enjoy a book through sheer force of wanting to enjoy it, I would have loved The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. I’ve only read one of her other books, Fingersmith, and it became an immediate favorite.
Back to The Paying Guests.
For a good week, I considered posting it as a So Bad, I Read It For You, because there were moments when I was desperate for a spoiler-laden summary. Plus, I thought it might be fun to be stubbornly contrary and free myself from the no-touch-spoilers tap dance. In the end though, The Paying Guests isn’t “so bad” and earns a regular review. While there are stylistic and character choices I dislike, I can see where they hold value. Waters’s prose is solid, even if her characters are flat, and the book is 150 pages too long. read more