Musings From A Bookmammal

WWW Wednesday–10/8/14


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9.16.14I’ve never read anything by Sarah Waters before—she wasn’t even on my radar until I started hearing about her latest, The Paying Guests. Nearly everything I heard about this novel said it was best to go into it with no preconceived notions, so I avoided reading any complete reviews that might contain specific information on the plot—and that’s definitely the way to go with this book!

This is an incredible novel. I found myself hiding away during my lunch hours at work to get in another chapter or two, and I even found myself reading at stoplights on a few occasions (I am NOT KIDDING!). I was completely immersed in the plot and the characters, and I found myself wondering over and over how Waters was going to resolve everything that was happening.

I completely agree that it’s best not to share too much of the plot, so I’ll just say that this psychological thriller takes place in post WWI London. A young women and her widowed mother are forced to take in boarders (“paying guests”) for financial reasons, so they rent the upstairs of their home to a newly married couple . . . and drama and passion of all kinds ensues.

This novel weighs in at over 500 pages, but it seemed like a pretty quick read to me. I never felt bogged down with the plot or the characters, and the Waters did an excellent job of making me feel as though I was living the day-to-day life of a young women in early 1920s London.

Don’t let the size of this book scare you away—if you’re looking for a gripping book that will keep you riveted from beginning to end, please find a copy of The Paying Guests. I’m quite sure that this novel will end up on my Top 10 list of favorite books of 2014.


some luckI haven’t read anything by Jane Smiley in ages, but I do remember enjoying her novel A Thousand Acres many years ago. I was offered an ARC of her latest novel, Some Luck, which was just released on October 7, and the premise was intriguing to me—it’s the first book in what will be a trilogy spanning 100 years in the life of an Iowa farm family. This first book takes place from 1920-1953, and each chapter covers one year. Every chapter also contains the points of view from several members of the family, including the husband and wife, their children, and a few members of their extended family. As the chapters—and the years—progress, we experience the ebb and flow of their everyday lives, including births, deaths, marriages, the Depression, WWII, and many other events.

I’m about ¾ of the way through this novel and I’m loving it! I’d consider this to be a “slice of life” book–if you’re into stories that include big cliffhangers and huge, dramatic plot points, this may not be to your taste—but if you like a book that puts you right there beside the characters, I highly recommend it. I don’t know how long it’s going to take Smiley to complete the remaining two volumes of this trilogy, but I’ll be anxiously waiting on both of them!


As usual, I have absolutely no idea, but I’m sure I’ll find something!

How about you? What have you been reading lately? Please share!


Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

11 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday–10/8/14

  1. Each time you mention The Paying Guests I long to pick up my copy… I do like the sound of Some Luck too. Here is my WWW for this week

  2. I can’t wait to read The Paying Guests and haven’t read Jane Smiley in years. Glad you’re enjoying it.

  3. I had a great reading week–and think my next read might just have to be The Paying Guests!

  4. You’ll definitely find something interesting to read next! happy reading 😀

    Here’s my post

  5. Can’t wait for Some Luck!

  6. I really am intrigued by The Paying Guests. I love it when you become so engaged by a book that you just HAVE to read it everywhere!!

  7. I am with you on The Paying Guests — I totally loved it. The characters are so vivid, and every chapter is gripping. I hadn’t heard much about Some Luck, but the structure is really intriguing to me.

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