The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

A young couple, Lilian and Leonard Barber take lodgings with Mrs Wray and her daughter Frances. Frances is 26, an attractive young lady, but single and at first sight rather conservative. The Barbers on the other hand are very avant-garde.

From the moment they pass each other on the landing, you can tell there is this palpable sexual tension, you just don’t know whether it is between Frances and Leonard or perhaps Frances and Lilian. Waters builds layer upon layer of this tension. She is a master weaver of those layers.

The atmosphere becomes thick with yearning and longing, as the characters begin to shed inhibitions. Actions and decisions follow, actions that may destroy them. An excellent book!

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