The Book Club for September: “The Paying Guests”


I was going to make a list of three choices of books for you guys to vote on this month, per usual for the book club. One of those choices was going to be Sarah Waters’ new novel. And then I thought, let’s get real: Sarah Waters is going to win. So let’s just save the other choices and make Sarah Waters the automatic pick this month, shall we?


Her newest novel since 2009’s The Little Stranger, The Paying Guests is another historical romp, this time taking place in the unease of post-World War I London. To be exact, the year is 1922, and our main characters are the widower Mrs. Wray and her daughter Frances. Facing a suddenly much-emptier house now that the war has taken their men and even their servants, they are forced to take in “paying guests,” middle class lodgers by the names of Lilian and Leonard Barber. It is these guests that end up greatly altering the course of Frances’s life.

And I hear there is a lot of hot lesbian sex!

The Riverhead edition of The Paying Guests will be available for us Yankees on the 16 of September. You can pre-order it now. If you live in San Francisco, or happen to be taking a trip there on September 20, you also have the opportunity to see Malinda Lo interview Sarah Waters herself at The Booksmith Bookstore.  Now, doesn’t that sound like a lesbian evening to die for!

I will post an official discussion at the end of the month, but you can discuss your heart out on our Goodreads page before then, or on our Tumblr (which I have been horrendous at updating lately, my apologies!).

It’s been a hard year for a lot of folks. We deserve a new Sarah Waters book. We deserve this! May we all revel in postwar lesbian London together!

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