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The Resource The night watch, Sarah Waters

The night watch, Sarah Waters

Label
The night watch
Title
The night watch
Statement of responsibility
Sarah Waters
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, 2006.
Review
  • Waters new novel is a departure from her previous yarn, the gripping Victorian thriller Fingersmith (2002). This one visits a group of characters in World War II-era London at three different points in their lives: in the aftermath of the war, during its height, and the early days of the war. Waters' narrative moves backward, beginning in 1947 before turning to 1944 and then 1941. The format introduces the characters while gradually revealing the intricacies of how they are all connected. Vivian is a vibrant young woman in love with a married solider. Her brother, Duncan, is drifting through life after spending the years during the war in jail. Helen is worried her relationship with Julia is crumbling. Kay wanders aimlessly, searching for purpose in a broken city. All are affected and irrevocably changed by the war. Readers will be tempted to return to the beginning of Waters' elegant novel after turning the final page to fully appreciate the depth of the characters and their connections to each other. -- Kristine Huntley (Reviewed 02-15-2006) (Booklist, vol 102, number 12, p42)
  • /* Starred Review */ Waters (Fingersmith) applies her talent for literary suspense to WWII-era London in her latest historical. She populates the novel with ordinary people overlooked by history books and sets their individual passions against the chaotic background of extraordinary times. There are Kay, a "night watch" ambulance driver; her lover, Helen; two imprisoned conscientious objectors, upper-class Fraser and working-class Duncan; Duncan's sister, Viv; Viv's married soldier-lover, Reggie; and Julia, a building inspector–cum–mystery novelist. The novel works backward in time, beginning in 1947, as London emerges from the rubble of war, then to 1944, a time of nightly air raids, and finally to 1941, when the war's end was not in sight. Through all the turmoil on the world stage, the characters steal moments of love, fragments of calm and put their lives on the line for great sex and small kindnesses. Waters's sharply drawn page-turner doesn't quite equal the work of literary greats who've already mapped out WWII-era London. But she matches any of them with her scene of two women on the verge of an affair during a nighttime bombing raid, lost in blackout London with only the light of their passion as a guide. (Mar. 23) --Staff (Reviewed December 12, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 49, p37)
  • /* Starred Review */ In this moody, atmospheric novel, Man Booker Prize nominee Waters (Fingersmith ) moves past the demimonde of Victorian England to World War II and its aftermath. The lives of four Londoners—Viv, Kay, Helen, and Duncan—intersect as they cope with the war and their personal lives over the course of six years. Each character is trapped by past events having trouble adjusting to peace after so much physical and personal destruction. Viv can't move past a troubled relationship; Kay seeks a purpose in life after the heroism of driving an ambulance; Helen is consumed with jealousy for her lover (and Kay's ex), Julia; and Duncan, having spent much of the war incarcerated, remains in a prison of his own making. Waters's depiction of daily life during the shelling—the random deaths, privations, and breakdowns in social roles between class and gender—is vivid and compelling. Night Watch is structurally more complex than her previous works, but the astonishing period detail and focus on the forgotten corners of society remain. Highly recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/05.]—Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI --Devon Thomas (Reviewed January 15, 2006) (Library Journal, vol 131, issue 1, p106)
  • Time runs backward, and memory tightens its grip on the variously involved characters of British author Waters's unusual fourth novel—a departure from her highly praised historicals Tipping the Velvet (1999), Affinity (2000) and Fingersmith (2002).It's indeed a story of relationships, which begins in 1947 in a London rooming-house where sinister Mr. Leonard treats the afflicted using Christian Science principles, and from which boarder Kay Langrish, an ambulance driver during the recent war, wanders the streets seeking the woman she had loved and lost years ago. Waters skillfully draws us into the lives of those who orbit around these two figures: elderly Mr. Munday, and his dutiful young "nephew," ex-convict Duncan Pearce; Duncan's sister Vivian, stalled in a dingy relationship with her married lover; "Viv's" business partner Helen Givner, with whom she operates a matchmaking concern; and Helen's lover Julia Standing, a beautiful, self-possessed bestselling mystery novelist. We gradually learn how the death of Duncan's lover Alec Planer had set Duncan on a course of self-destruction, and also how virtually all the novel's women have at one time been involved with, yearned for and/or failed or betrayed one another. The strong emphasis on same-sex attraction threatens to reduce the book to something very like a manifesto. But Waters's mastery of period detail carries the day, and the work is further distinguished by several brilliant sequences: Mr. Mundy's slow, patient seduction of the helplessly vulnerable Duncan; Viv's botched abortion, performed by a sublimely creepy back-street dentist; Helen's panicked reaction to evidence of Julia's infidelity; and Kay's stoical labors during the Blitz, when she's partnered with another young woman who will not be "the one" of whom she dreams.A cut below this author's superb earlier books, but very much worth reading. (Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
139950
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1966-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Waters, Sarah
Dewey number
823/.914
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6073.A828
LC item number
N54 2006
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • London (England)
  • London (England)
Target audience
adult
Label
The night watch, Sarah Waters
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
450 pages
Isbn
9781594482304
Lccn
2005044927
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9781594489051
System control number
61285654
Label
The night watch, Sarah Waters
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
450 pages
Isbn
9781594482304
Lccn
2005044927
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9781594489051
System control number
61285654

Library Locations

    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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