Title: The Uninvited Guests
Author: Sadie Jones
Book: Hardcover, 272 pages
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.
This novel sounded like one of those old-school dinner mystery type of stories. Even the cover, which is beautiful, invokes a certain dark sense of the book and seems to allude to what is inside. All Emerald wanted to do was have a lovely dinner party for her birthday, but fate had other plans. The accident that occurs not far from their secluded house brings unexpected guests by the masses and they are forced to not only put them up in their rooms, but feed them as well. As the night continues, the guests become even more unwelcome and the birthday celebrations have to be put on hold to accomodate the wanderers.
You feel a sense of pity for Emerald and her family, who have this unfortunate thing happening to them on such a special night. Yes, the guests were in an accident, but the author paints them as annoyances more than troubled people finding a place to go. You should feel the most bad for the accident victims, but in this novel, they are merely an inconvenience.
Smudge, Emerald's little sister, has plans of her own while all of this is happening and decides to pull off a big stunt that will eventually bring everyone together to solve the mess she got herself into. One of the accident victims, who seems to be of higher rank, decides to join the party himself and becomes a most unwelcome addition, throwing the whole celebration into turmoil and upsetting the lady of the house.
This novel has adventure, distress, drama, humor, and resolve, which are all bound together to make an interesting book. I definitely enjoyed some parts of it; the house sounded beautiful from the way it was described and each character certainly had their part to play. I wasn't as drawn in as I had liked to be as a lot of the characters were not endearing or easy to relate to. When the uninvited guests came, it felt like they were coming in on my party I was so annoyed. The author certainly writes well and follows through to the very end and gives us a totally new story to share. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in order to create this review. The opinions expressed are of my own. Thank you to Trish at TLC Book Tours.