After an amazing inaugural event with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie earlier this year, last night Stylist Magazine were back with their second book club. And for this month the author was the incredible Sarah Waters and the book her latest masterpiece, The Paying Guests.
The story is set in 1922 when a 26 year old single daughter, Frances, and her mother have to let in lodgers in order to pay the bills. Enter a married couple from the ‘clerk’ class who disrupt Frances’ life like nothing else. With the four of them living in this one house they can’t help but get involved in each other’s lives. Passion, drama, love – all combined together to create a novel which is incredibly hard to put down.
I love events like this, when an actual fan (a Stylist employee who evidently loves reading) gets to interview an author they admire. Sarah talked about her inspirations behind this story, her choice to setting, the house as a character, and her writing process. She spoke for about an hour and then answered audience questions for another hour. One thing I will never forget is her advice to writers – set some time aside and just write.
At one point Sarah read a passage from her book, one where Frances and Lillian start to discover their attraction to each other. Before she started she mention how UST (unresolved sexual tension) between characters was something she never wanted her characters to experience – when they fancied each other they would just go for it. However the passage she read was full of USt – made all of us laugh.
Sarah writes emotion so beautifully and so believably. I understand what her characters are going through and agree with them.
I’m already looking forward to the next book club!