The Night Watch
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit partying, and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch tells the story of four Londoners-three women and a young man with a past-whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in tragedy, stunning surprise and exquisite turns, only to change irreversibly...more
This may be a sign of two things:
1. My ailing memory due to incipient old age
2. The fact that this books characters were not potentially striking or memorable enough to lodge them firmly within grey matter like a sort of post-reading word shrapnel.
Because no one likes to admi ...more
I loved this book. It follows the lives of four people backwards through World War II. It begins post-war, in 1947, and you meet these chara ...more
Luckily, this book improved after the first 250 dreadful pages. But isn't that a long time to wait for improvement? See my earlier comment for the defects of the book's Part One (takes place in 1947). Part two, set three years earlier, is certainly less boring, but only because the war was still on, not bec ...more
The Night Watch was not what I expected. I don't like war time stories. There is very little I enjoy about the gory detail or historical arrogance ...more
Really loved the first third of the novel, the rest not so much, it wasn't bad, it was just unsatisfying. There wasn't a proper ending to where the main characters were left off in part one of the story, I wanted an epilogue or something to tie up the many loose ends.
-What's What: Split into three sections, the first part of the story set in 1947 London, the next in 1944, and the final part set in 1941. Focuses on four main characters (Kay, Helen, Viv, Duncan) who have survived the war ...more
I feel a bit fooled when you do not get to know what happened after part one, what the women made of their lives, what happened to Helen and Julia? What did Kay do when she go ...more
That said, this novel (as other reviewers have noted) is quite different from her others. The plot is certainly not as fast-paced or full of "twists" as the earlier novels; the setting has moved from Victorian to WWII (which makes a big difference to me a ...more
It's not an original idea to start at a moment in time (in this case 1947) and work the story backwards. In less accomplished hands this could be a disaster, but Waters manages it really well. In fact I think it really adds to the story. For instance one relationship in 1947 is shown as having lost its thrill and has become sta ...more
This is elegant, and the unusual structure, which bothered me a little at first, actually works in a peculiar way to give a crescendo of sorts...to the horror of war, to that which has been overcome.
For males thinking "lesbians are hot", this will be a disappointment. It is a much more realistic treatment of the relationships among women t ...more
I was less thrilled with the fact the book starts in 1947 London and works its way backwards to 1941. It's well done, but gimmicky, a perfectly ordinary novel made slightly mysterious with...whatever the opposite of foreshadowing is. Odd ...more
Sarah Waters takes an audacious approach to her fourth novel. The initial setting is 1947, when Great Britain is still recovering from the damage of World War II. We meet four unfulfilled Londoners: Kay, a former ambulance driver, wanders aimlessly around the city, unsure of ...more
In 1999, Sarah Waters' first novel TIPPING THE VELVET caused a minor sensation. A rich, sprawling tale of Sapphic love in the world of Victorian music halls and secret "women's clubs", TIPPING THE VELVET managed to be outrageously sexy while retaining impeccable literary credentials. Ms. Waters went on to publish two additional books that vividly evoke the Victorian period, the FINGERSMITH (my personal favorite) and AFFINITY. Both focus on lesbian relationships, though they are generally less gr ...more
Sarah Waters' novel follows the interlinked lives of five people in these dismal years. Helen and Viv work in a dating agency. Helen lives with the sophisticated Julia, whilst Viv ...more
I do have to say, however, that this novel doesn't live up to Waters immaculately told mind-bending, plot-twisting, novel Fingersmith. Definitely don't pass up that one.
People in London after WWII doing things they think inappropriate. Watching other people. Sometimes listening.
If you are a fan of short stories--particularly short stories strung into a very long novel--then this book may be for you.
As for me, I disliked "The Night Watch" greatly, even though the prose is beautiful.
I'm finally free.
Waters attended university, earning degrees in English literature. Before writing novels Waters worked as an academic, earning a doctorate and teaching. Waters went directly from her doctoral thesis to her first novel. ...more