In "The Night Watch," we meet and learn to love several characters whose lives intersect in WWII London. Much is left to guess at, and I'm one who appreciates that: what is foregrounded is life itself in all its fragility and tenderness. Haven't encountered such a compassionate book in, well, a long time. The writing's quite lovely, too. And the reader... Juanita McMahon, you're an artist. Absolutely flawless. I really hope Audible will offer more Sarah Waters books soon, and that Ms. McMahon is the reader.
This book (and its myriad voices) will stay with me a long, long time.
This book is difficult to review. The writing is lovely, and the narrator is excellent. However, the constant reporting of every little action became monotonous after awhile. During the last quarter of the book, I actually started fast-forwarding, just to skip all the minute details that really added nothing to the characters or the story, to find out the "beginning" of the stories. I most appreciated the depiction of life during the war. The descriptions of the after-effects of the London bombings were illuminating.
I liked Fingersmith, loved The Little Stranger, and hoped for a lot more from The Night Watch. I see that Sarah Walters wrote this novel with 3 goals... goals which she does indeed accomplish, but none of which are too concerned with plot: 1) Portraying daily life in WW2 London with surprising and interesting detail 2) Gay storylines 3) Diving deeply into her characters lives... even the most colorless details. There really was very little plot. If you fall in love with her characters, you may love the book. I liked the characters, but I was bored a lot and needed more. There was one scene I liked because it was concerned with human nature and personal awareness... it's where an older, wiser character schools a younger character regarding "the cinema"... I wanted more like that. I also wanted a plot, and I would have loved a thoughtful surprise like the answer behind The Little Stranger.
I got this book because I had listened to The Little Stranger and really liked it. The description of this book was vague, but thought it would be good. HUGE disappointment. Nothing against gays, but seems like that was focus of this book and didn't seem to be going anywhere. One woman in love with another woman and a third one steps in and the love interest changes. It was a little confusing but this book just didn't seem to have a point. I was really disappointed considering how well I liked her other book. My advice--don't waste your time.
I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book and I was surprised to see that the relationships among the Londoners tend to focus on gay women. If I knew this to begin with, I would not have spent my credit on this book. I cannot relate to these women and would have preferred to spend my credit on another book. I will finish it b/c I like the narrator. I'm not overly curious how it will end but want to finish a book that I start.