Monday, March 12, 2012
THE UNINVITED GUESTS by Sadie Jones (from the ARC, forthcoming April 2012) Knopf Canada, 260 pages
Consider this forthcoming novel from Sadie Jones a delectable hybrid of DOWNTON ABBEY meets SUPER 8 set in provincial England in the early years of the 20th Century at Sterne, a dilapidated manor house owned by Charlotte Torrington by way of her dead husband Horace. Charlotte has three children, Emerald, Clovis and Smudge, all of whom are emotionally attached to the place, especially now that their mother has remarried the doting, one-armed Edward Shift, and their paternal legacy is seemingly up for grabs.
On the occasion of Emerald's birthday, a terrible train wreck nearby propels an undesirable group of strangers to Sterne for temporary succor and with outrageous consequences as the household is thrown into complete disarray. Add to the uninvited guests a shady figure from Charlotte's past, Charlie Traversham-Beechers, determined to join in Emerald's birthday revels, who turns everything topsy turvy with his insane and irresistible challenges and there is an evening that no one will soon forget.
Although THE UNINVITED GUESTS begins like a traditional 19th Century novel, the journey Jones takes you on is anything but conventional. Be prepared to be surprised at each plot twist and to enjoy the ride just as much as Smudge's beloved pony Lady.