The Night Watch

The Night Watch

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
7
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Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.
This is the story of four Londoners - three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching . . . Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret . . . Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover . . . Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances . . .
Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists. The Night Watch is thrilling. A towering achievement.
Publisher: London : Virago, c2006
ISBN: 9781844082469
1844082466
Branch Call Number: WAT
Characteristics: 472 p. ;,23 cm

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haileyj
Oct 13, 2014

Another book by Sarah Waters that was disappointing. The characters are not believable and the story drags. I didn't finish it.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Beautiful, evocative story about love and loss set against the backdrop of the London Blitz. Waters takes us backwards in time, a curious but effective storytelling choice that allows readers to examine characters' choices. Interwoven stories come together perfectly. Bonus points for serious historical fiction that features LGBTQ characters. Waters' writing is divine."

ManUtdFan Aug 20, 2013

Fantastic read. Found myself thinking "How do people mentally survive things like nightly bombings?". Really makes you appreciate everything you have when you read a book like this - where an orange is considered a very luxurious birthday present.

placebo Jun 30, 2011

Preferred Sarah Water's novels set in Victorian times but this one was still good. Looking forward to the BBC production!

m2 Jan 17, 2011

I loved The Night Watch. You had to work to keep up with this one, since it steps BACK not forward in time. But it is a beautiful indictment of what war does to young people caught up in it. The central characters are a trilogy of lesbians and their families and friends. And personally, I can't forget Kay. She's magnificent.

indielibrarian Sep 05, 2010

Sarah Waters frustrates the heck out of me. She writes really well, but her books are always unsatisfying. This one starts in 1947 and goes backward. So when you finish the book, you really care about the characters and want to know what happens to them beyond what was happening at the beginning. But alas, it is not to be. There is no return to their "present-day" lives presented at the beginning, so you really get no closure. I really wish this talented writer will work a bit on her narrative arc, but I fear that her good reviews are doing nothing to encourage her to change.

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gailygirl
Sep 15, 2007

Not quite as good as Fingersmith for me. Although the chronology is interesting, 1947 - then 1944 - then 1941 - I felt there was a lot left unsaid that I wanted to tie up. But as a story - unputtdownable - another one-day read!

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