The Night Watch

The Night Watch

Book - 2006
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A tale set in World War II finds a rescue worker struggling for composure after a bombing, a young woman longing for her soldier lover, and a convict who watches a battle through the bars of his window. Moving backward through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit partying, and sexual adventure, this novel tells the story of four Londoners--three women and a young man with a past--whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in tragedy, surprise, and turns, only to change irreversibly in the shadow of a grand historical event.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2006
Edition: First Riverhead trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9781594482304
Branch Call Number: FIC WATERS 2006
Characteristics: 528 pages ; 21 cm


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Oct 15, 2018

Another historical novel from Sarah Waters. She seems to be our Dickens; like him she has an amazing visual sense--you can really see the interior of a flat, kitchen, bathroom, parlour, everything--and a gift for dramatic narrative. Just read the end of 1944, where Kay is driving the ambulance through the bombed out streets, trying to get to her flat where she fears Helen may be dead or injured: it's magnificent. Alas, she has the same fault Dickens had: you want to take a blue pencil to the text, cut 100 pages at the minimum. Still, what a book.

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.

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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