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The uninvited guests
Sadie Jones
Adult Fiction JONES

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Sterne, the English country house at the center of this remarkable dark comedy, is home to the Torringtons-mother Charlotte, a widow now married to Edward Swift; children Emerald, Clovis, and "Smudge"; and an assortment of faithful staff. Set sometime in the early part of the 20th century, somewhere in the north of England (the ambiguity is telling), the novel takes place over a single day, April 30. A celebration is underway for Emerald's 20th birthday, and what appears to be a Wodehouseian comedy with a touch of Dodie Smith is derailed when a local train jumps its track, soon filling Sterne with stranded, shocked passengers. The "uninvited guests" are decidedly lower class and deliberately indistinct, but for one notable exception: Charlie Traversham-Beechers, who seems to know a good deal about the family, particularly Charlotte. Jones's (Small Wars) characters are delightfully eccentric, the wit delightfully droll, and the prose simply delightful. But for all its charm, this is a serious book; it's no coincidence that the new day dawning at its close is May Day, or International Workers' Day, though Jones's theme is less class warfare than the seemingly absolute divide between the classes. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, the Gernert Company. (May 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Can there be anything more properly British than a weekend house party in the country? The down-on-their-luck Torrington siblings, who with their mother and stepfather make up the household, have great hopes for this weekend for many reasons; it would appear that the few invited guests have motives of their own for coming. It is the entirely unexpected and somehow unusual group of passengers from a railway accident, foisted on the household, who will provide a catalyst for true change by the end of the novel. VERDICT Excellent characterization combines with a plot sprinkled with hints of secrets to be revealed to produce a page-turning read that blurs the edges of the country house mystery. In her third novel (after the Costa First Novel Award-winning The Outcast and Small Wars), Jones demonstrates a talented writer's versatile imagination and originality. [See Prepub Alert, 11/21/11.]-Pamela O'Sullivan, SUNY at Brockport Lib. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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