Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Harper Perennial.
Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my
favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your
Because I enjoyed Sadie Jones’s Small Wars, I was looking forward to reading her latest novel, The Uninvited Guests, out in paperback this month. When I learned the story takes place in England a few years before World War I and involves a family that is just about to lose its tenuous hold on gentility, I was intrigued.
Here's the publisher's summary:
One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor—and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.From the start you can see that trouble is brewing. Emerald and her brother, Clovis, are unhappy with their stepfather and with the thought of losing their home. Young Smudge is in hiding and is left unsupervised. Edward Swift, the stepfather, has gone into town to see about borrowing money, meaning his wife, Charlotte, is to be the sole hostess of the birthday party. No one seems particularly happy on this celebration day.
Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant parlor game threatens to blow respectability to smithereens: Smudge Torrington, the wayward youngest daughter of the house, decides that this is the perfect moment for her Great Undertaking.
The Uninvited Guests is the bewitching new novel from the critically acclaimed Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author triumphs in this frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises—where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety—and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence.
Jones skillfully sets up the time period through both the descriptive prose and the dialogue, firmly placing us in Edwardian England. Snapshot scenes with each of the family members creates a mood of unease. We're not sure what's going to happen, but we know it won't be all good.
When the accident survivors appear on the doorstep, the family has nowhere to put them and nothing to feed them. And, of course, they are mostly of the lower classes and can't be trusted. To make matters worse, the gentleman among the victims begins to behave shockingly, ultimately leaving an indelible mark on the family.
Sadie Jones's The Uninvited Guests is a story of manners and saving face, perfectly blended with humor and social commentary spiced with a hint of Gothic.
Don't miss Harper Perennial's trademark P.S.section at the back of the novel. There you can read an interview with Sadie Jones about the novel and its characters as well as an article she wrote about great dinner party scenes from books and movies. The Uninvited Guests was a Indie Next pick for May 2012.
Harper Perennial is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For information about the imprint, please read the welcome note, posted here on June 18, 2010. To discover more Harper Perennial books, use the Topics/Labels pull-down menu in the sidebar. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. For more about Harper Perennial, follow them on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.
Buy The Uninvited Guests at an Indie or at a bookstore near you. (This link leads to an affiliate program.)
Published by HarperCollins / Harper Perennial, 2013
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