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The Uninvited Guests: A Novel | [Sadie Jones]

The Uninvited Guests: A Novel

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. The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan.
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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.

The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan. As the passengers wearily search for rest, the house undergoes a strange transformation. One of their number (who is most definitely not a gentleman) makes it his business to join the birthday revels.

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.

©2012 Sadie Jones (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

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3.3 (35 )
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  •  
    Cidney New Orleans, United States Minor Outlying Islands 11-10-13
    Cidney New Orleans, United States Minor Outlying Islands 11-10-13 Member Since 2006

    Reader. Wannabe writer. That's a picture of me standing in line to see Stephen King!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "And You Think You’re Haunted By Your Past!"

    In many ways Uninvited Guests is a comedy of manners, particularly British in its wit and depreciating sense of humor.

    The Torrington household is preparing to celebrate the 20th birthday of their eldest daughter, Emerald. At the same time, Charlotte, Em’s mother, is anxious about the state of Sterne, and whether or not she and her children will be able to stay in the house much longer. Her husband, Edward, leaves on the day of the party to negotiate a home loan in town. That’s the set up. And it’s all very dramatic comedy with some upstairs-downstairs conventions and budding romances among the young people, but things change when there’s word of an accident “on the branch line,” and Charlotte’s past, quite literally, comes knocking on the door!

    The Uninvited Guests is quiet and funny and creepy all at once, and I found it to be an enjoyable listen. I have only two criticisms: first, while Kate Reading did a fabulous job for the most part, her interpretations of some of the character affectations seemed a bit off to me. Also, like some other reviewers, I felt the pony situation, though it started off being funny, went on longer than it needed.

    Still, if you’re in the mood for turn of the century wit and a bit of the supernatural you could do worse than The Uninvited Guests.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RueRue Orange County, CA 05-01-14
    RueRue Orange County, CA 05-01-14 Member Since 2013

    RueRue

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    "Forgettable"
    What would have made The Uninvited Guests better?

    It seemed like the author was attempting to try something different but wasn't comfortable with the genre (it's an attempt at a ghost story that just doesn't quite come together.)
    Great narration, though.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susanne United States 04-18-13
    Susanne United States 04-18-13 Member Since 2009
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    "An engaging, tightly written story."
    Where does The Uninvited Guests rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top and that's saying something. I listen to many classics.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Sadie Jones writes about family here--how big it is. Who is in? How do people get left out--or maybe ejected? What happens that might enlarge our idea of family boundaries? The characters are distinctive and their attributes drive the story, as should it should be. I love the funny, dark aspect of the railway accident "blasted survivors" who are somewhere in the big old house as the family dynamic plays itself out. I kept thinking how I'd like to see this story on stage, or well-produced, on screen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The coaxing of the pony down the stairs by all the family and the travelers, too.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Uninvited Guests and why?

    Who can say Charlotte is more memorable than her neglected daughter Smudge? They are a memorable pair.


    Any additional comments?

    I will certainly look for other works by this writer. She doesn't skimp on character, but goes deep and real, so the story touches the reader in lasting ways.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Treetown reader Ann Arbor, Michigan 03-12-13
    Treetown reader Ann Arbor, Michigan 03-12-13 Member Since 2004
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    "I can't believe I listened to this whole book!!"
    What disappointed you about The Uninvited Guests?

    There were really three books in this one book....and none of them had any real effect on the other. There was the 'romance' part, there was the 'ghost part, and there was the little girl with the pony part. And they flipped back and forth so it was hard to hold a thought.

    The writing was ponderous and at times pretentious and rather than move the plot along, it slogged, and slogged. The use of similies became overpowering and useless....again, dragging the plot down. I think I kept reading it hoping it would turn out better, but it never did and at the end it was so bad, it was almost good in its badness.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm looking forward to Beautiful Ruins


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Reading’s performances?

    Possibly


    What character would you cut from The Uninvited Guests?

    Oh dear.....which ones? The pony perhaps? None of the characters were at all likeable, but not so unlikeable that they were interesting


    Any additional comments?

    I think I've said it all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie TOPEKA, KANSAS, United States 11-10-12
    Stephanie TOPEKA, KANSAS, United States 11-10-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Quite an odd book"

    every time I thought I understood, something totally different occured. At the end, not a bad story but I wouldn't waste a credit on it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Allen, Texas, United States 06-27-13
    Barbara Allen, Texas, United States 06-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Unexpectedly Quirky"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Uninvited Guests to be better than the print version?

    Loved the voiced characterizations because it added depth to each personality, so I preferred the audio version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Uninvited Guests?

    The best moment in the book is the actual dinner party. Even though I was appalled by the guests behavior, it was visceral enough to be memorable.


    What does Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The character voices in the audio version are spot on, and make it particularly entertaining.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Barker Columbia South Carolina 01-07-13
    Denise Barker Columbia South Carolina 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Different....."
    What would have made The Uninvited Guests better?

    Clearer storytelling, I found the whole thing a bit fuzzy, wasn't really sure where the author was going with characters or storyline


    What could Sadie Jones have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Developed her plot better, this story really jumped around, not much character development


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Nothing stands out, it was all a bit farfetched


    What character would you cut from The Uninvited Guests?

    The neighbor


    Any additional comments?

    Nope, this was not a very entertaining read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Bryson City, NC, United States 11-13-12
    Monica Bryson City, NC, United States 11-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Creepy Fun"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the character of Smudge, the eccentric younger daughter.


    What does Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent narator. Her voice brought the book to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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