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The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

The Night Guest (2013)

by Fiona McFarlane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3623245,741 (3.48)32



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English (31)  Catalan (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Widowed pensioner Ruth has been doing okay on her own, even if sometimes she seems to forget a little bit here and there. Nevertheless, she is thrilled when Frida shows up at her doorstep claiming to be "from the government" to act as a part-time carer. Slowly, Frida begins ingratiating herself deeper into Ruth's life, just as Ruth decides to reach out to an old flame to try to reconnect. But are all of Frida's attentions as innocent as they seem?

This book got some great critical reviews, and the descriptions I read of it made it sound interesting. It's not. At least not for me. This type of book about an unscrupulous person gaslighting a susceptible older person should simmer until it comes to a boil; instead this book was like a pot of water sitting on unlit burner. It is clear from the outset that Frida is up to no good, but seeing things from Ruth's eyes, we never quite get to see how she does so. Many questions are raised that are never answered, and that was frustrating. Ruth's meandering memories were okay in the beginning and made her a sympathetic character, but after a while it felt like there needed to be some semblance of a plot to make this worthwhile. There never was.

Others may enjoy this book (the ratings here would seem to indicate that), but it was not at all my cup of tea. On the plus side, the audiobook narrator was quite good. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Dec 18, 2018 |
Het orgineel van mijn review kan je vinden op mijn blog:

Vanaf de eerste bladzijde, als Ruth wakker word, tijger denkt, en angstig is , is op de een of andere manier de tijger voor mij symbool van de naderende dood. Of ik daar gelijk in heb?

Betreft het een thriller? is Ruth inderdaad vergeetachtig? Of word haar dat aangepraat? Deugt Frida? De uit de lucht vallende hulp, die door de regering gestuurd en betaald word? En zoals ze over één van de zoons van Ruth praat ….

Ik bedoel, zo verassend is het niet, als je erover nadenkt. Je laat elke nacht de achterdeur open, zodat de katten in en uit kunnen lopen. Zo zal die tijger van je wel zijn binnengekomen. Wat zou er gebeuren als Jeff dat wist? Nou? Wat nou als ik meneertje Fantastisch zou vertellen dat je je achterdeur had opengelaten en er een tijger naar binnen liep? Ik vraag me af wat hij daarvan zou zeggen?

Ik vind het een boek wat emotioneert, ontroert, en je boos maakt! En dat maakt het voor mij zowiezo al een goed boek. Het zet je absoluut aan het denken over hoe we met de ouderen omgaan (vereenzamen). Hoe het mogelijk is dat ze bestolen en opgelicht en mishandeld worden. Ik zet ik het boek in de kast bij het rijtje *nog een keer te lezen*
( )
  LindaKwakernaat | Nov 29, 2018 |
This was a strange little book. Not quite sure how I feel about it. I waited so long to read it, it almost felt like a letdown when I actually did. But at the same time, I really wasn't disappointed. So ... ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
One of the best written novels I've read in years. Not one word is wasted. Having the narrative come from a very sympathetic character whose mental faculties are dwindling was a smart yet controversial choice. Although, I feel this book should have come with a warning on account of the emotional wringer it will put the reader through. This is a depressingly sad (almost soul crushingly so) novel that will no doubt leave many readers with a bad taste in their mouths. I can understand many not liking this based on just how depressing it really is. But, that does not change how beautiful it's prose is nor how well written or thought provoking. I finished it at 3 am and ended up staying awake until I could call my own mother at 8 am to check in and see how she was doing. If you are in the mood to experience one of the greatest works of literature in recent memory, pick up a copy of The Night Guest for yourself. But, reader beware...you're in for an emotional powerhouse that will no doubt haunt you. The Night Guest is a work of literary art that will have you thinking about it long after it resides on your shelf collecting dust. ( )
  Satyr86 | Jun 16, 2017 |
I made it about halfway through before giving up. I just didn't really care. :/

 ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McFarlane, Fionaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arensman, Dirk-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
One morning Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she's blown in from the sea. in fact she's come to care for Ruth, Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem.

Which of them can Ruth trust? And as memories of her childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, can she even trust herself?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865477736, Hardcover)

A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer

Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman—Frida—claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in.
     Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? Why do memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her her own troubled past? And how far can Ruth trust herself?
     The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane’s hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, trust, dependence, and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn’t be. Here is a new writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to describe the mysterious workings of our minds.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"An elderly Australian woman lets a mysterious and possibly sinister caretaker into her beach-side home and into her life"--

» see all 4 descriptions

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