Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: The Uninvited Guests

'The Uninvited Guests'
Author: Sadie Jones

Format: ARC
Published: Harper; May 2012
Pages: 272
Genre: Historical fiction
Grade: D 
Source: TLC Book Tours

Synopsis: One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor—and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.
The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan. As the passengers wearily search for rest, the house undergoes a strange transformation. One of their number (who is most definitely not a gentleman) makes it his business to join the birthday revels.
Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant parlor game threatens to blow respectability to smithereens: Smudge Torrington, the wayward youngest daughter of the house, decides that this is the perfect moment for her Great Undertaking.
The Uninvited Guests is the bewitching new novel from the critically acclaimed Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author triumphs in this frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises—where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety—and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence.

My Take: After reading Small Wars by Sadie Jones (click on title for my review) and choosing it as one of my top picks of 2011, you better believe I couldn't wait to get my hands on Jones' latest novel: The Uninvited Guests. While both are historical fiction, they are vastly different in their storytelling styles. I would say that they are both slow to evolve but I was hooked from the get go with Small Wars and there was nothing to keep me turning the pages in The Uninvited Guests

Jones' latest novel is set in the English countryside at a large manor at the beginning of the 20th Century. Honestly when I first started the book I got visions of Downton Abbey and I started to get so excited because how could I not want to read a book that reminds me of it to keep it in my mind when the show is not around. However, there are characters that I feel strongly about and want to root for in that show. This was not the case in this story. The Uninvited Guests takes place all in one day, centering around the 20th birthday of the daughter of the heads of the household: Emerald. 

The large manor in which this family lives, Sterne, is on the edge of being lost by the family. They are quickly running out of money. So the man of the house, the children's stepfather and the wife's second husband, is gone for a lot of the day trying to drum up money. This leaves us with the wife, the two eldest children, and then the youngest child and the help. The wife and the two oldest children are awful people. They basically have no redeeming qualities. So it was hard to want to read a book about them throwing a party for someone so horrible and feel bad about a bunch of horrible people losing their home. Am I suppose to feel sympathy for them? Because I don't.

Naturally, there is more to the story in this one day then just a birthday party. Things happen to trip it up but if I were to tell you about these plot twists it would ruin the story for you so I shall let you read it yourself! And if you are a big fan of Edwardian England and slower paced stories then you might find you do get a lot more out of this one than I did. 

If you have read it, I want to hear what you think of it. 

For other opinions on this book, please check out the full TLC Tour here!

Cover Lust: The published version is so vastly different then that which is on my ARC and it looks so lovely! I think they made a great choice. 

Giveaway Details
I have an extra ARC to giveaway to one lucky winner! The deadline for this giveaway is May 29th; entries open to those in the US.

To Enter (Mandatory)!
Comment below with a way for me to contact you.

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3 extra entries available. Giveaway open until 11:59pm PST May 29th. I will draw the winners using random.org and announce them here on my blog. Good luck!


  1. I have the Univited Guests and I'm hoping to get to it soon. I also have Small Wars but I haven't read it yet.

  2. Thanks for the giveaway! Small Wars was a great read! Looking forward to reading The Uninvited Guests.

    Junior Cain

  3. I was supposed to have read this a couple of weeks ago but other books got in the way. I am about to start it though.

  4. Hm, i know a friend has read that other book by her. Dunno if that was my style though

  5. Like you, I absolutely loved Small Wars, so I've been looking forward to this book. It sounds so different from Small Wars though. Still, I'd like to give it a try.


  6. I might have to give this one a try. I love PG Wodehouse, whose books routinely made fun of British upper class in the early 1900s.

  7. Count me in! @buckeye_gal4

  8. I'm sorry this was such a disappointment for you.

  9. Too bad this wasn't better for you, but I'll definitely check out Small Wars! I am in a historical fiction kind of mood.

  10. Follow by email and twitter will tweet at rhondareads

  11. Wow, it's a shame this didn't work for you.

  12. I read Small Wars and would enjoy this novel. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. This novel set during this era interests me. Thanks for this chance. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  14. Interesting that the author wrote two books that were so different from each other! I feel like most authors stick to a certain...oh, formula's not the word, so we'll call it je ne sais quoi. I kind of love that the author ventured out on this one. Even though it wasn't your cup of tea, I appreciate your sharing your thoughts!

  15. Thanks for the giveaway.'

    My email: litendeavorsATgmail.com

  16. oh la la! I'd love a copy...I just got done finishing a book that's on top of the "if you love Downton Abbey..." List and it was disappointing :-(

  17. This sounds very good, I'm adding it to my reading list.
    Theresa N

  18. I'm a gfc follower: theresan.
    theresa n


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