Sarah Waters
The Paying Guests

Book Cover

A psychological and dramatic tour de force from beloved international bestseller Sarah Waters. The year is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. In South London, in a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as Mrs Wray and her daughter Frances are obliged to take in lodgers.
     With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, the routines of the house and the lives of its inhabitants will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will reach.
     Waters proves once again that her eye for the telling details of class and character that draw people together as well as tear them apart is second to none in this masterpiece of psychological tension and emotional depth.

Praise for Sarah Waters' The Paying Guests:

"Sarah Waters is, quite simply, a marvellous writer. . . . She has writerly confidence like almost no one else I can think of, and complete mastery over her material. She excavates each scene, each action and interaction, to its full depths, while leaving just the right amount to the imagination. . . . The Paying Guests does what it tries to do, and then some." –The Globe and Mail

"Waters is a writer of many talents, and the most immediately obvious of them is her skill in storytelling." –National Post "[A] gripping tale of class, sex and the consequences of a passionate affair" from a writer "indisputably at the top of her game" The Bookseller

"Readers of Waters's previous novels know that she brings historical eras to life with consummate skill, rendering authentic details into layered portraits of particular times and places" –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A sumptuously subdued story of making do and getting by after the great war…Waters is an author to cherish" –The Guardian

"Masterly . . . delightful . . . tremendously vivid . . . Waters is a cracking storyteller" –Tatler


Genre: Historical fiction
Length: 576 pp
Setting: London, England
Period:  1922
Publication Date: September 2 2014

Canada, English – McClelland & Stewart
UK – Little, Brown
US - Penguin

For all rights inquiries, please contact Greene & Heaton.

Author Name

Sarah Waters was born in Wales in 1966. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature and has been an associate lecturer with the Open University. Her four novels include Fingersmith, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize in 2002, Affinity, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Award, and Tipping the Velvet. She was included in Granta's prestigious list of 'Best of Young British Novelists 2003', was voted Author of the Year in 2003 by both publishers and booksellers at the British Book Awards and the BA Conference, and won the Waterstone's Author of the Year Award 2003. Last year she was awarded an honorary degree from her alma mater, The University of Kent.