The night watch

Front Cover
Riverhead Books, 2006 - Fiction - 450 pages
547 Reviews
A novel of relationships set in 1940s London that brims with vivid historical detail, thrilling coincidences, and psychological complexity, by the author of the Booker Prize finalist FingersmithSarah Waters, whose works set in Victorian England have awards and acclaim and have reinvigorated the genres of both historical and lesbian fiction, returns with novel that marks a departure from nineteenth century and a spectacular leap forward in the career of this masterful storyteller.Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit liasons, and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch tells the story of Londoners: three women and a young man with a past-whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in ways that are surprising not always known to them. In wartime London, the women work-as ambulance drivers, ministry clerks, and building inspectors. There are feats of heroism, epic and quotidian, and tragedies both enormous and personal, but the emotional interiors of her characters that Waters captures with absolute and intimacy.Waters describes with perfect knowingness the taut composure of a rescue worker in the aftermath of a bombing, the idle longing of a young woman her soldier lover, the peculiar thrill convict watching the sky ignite through the bars on his window, the hunger a woman stalking the streets for encounter, and the panic of another who sees her love affair coming end. At the same time, Waters is absolute control of a narrative that offers up subtle surprises and exquisite twists, even as it depicts the impact grand historical event on individual lives.Tender, tragic, and beautifully poignant, The Night Watch is a towering achievement that confirms its author as "one of the best storytellers alive today" (Independent on Sunday).

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Great story-telling, great plot. - Goodreads
A great read but the ending was shockingly bad. - Goodreads
I do love her writing style. - Goodreads
I hated the plot as well as the narrative. - Goodreads
Sarah Waters is a wonderful writer. - Goodreads
Somber....and a disappointing ending... - Goodreads

Review: The Night Watch

User Review  - Giacomina Sheridan - Goodreads

An absolutely wonderful read. This woman is a true writer. She brings the scenes in the book vividly to life. They say the devil is in the detail and she puts in details, not irrelevant ones, just ... Read full review

Review: The Night Watch

User Review  - Carrie - Goodreads

This book was hard to get through but very illuminating in the end. I had a lot of doubts about the whole going backward through time thing, because I really wanted to know what happens to the ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Sarah Waters has a Ph.D. in English literature and has been an associate lecturer with the Open University. She has won a Betty Trask Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award, the South Bank Show Award for Literature, and her books have been short-listed for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the Man Booker and Orange prizes. In 2003, she was named Author of the Year three times and was chosen as one of "Granta's" Best of Young British Novelists.