The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
A Novel

80%

5 Critic Reviews

That question of how real the tiger is also becomes central to The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane...Here, McFarlane employs it excellently, as Frida's unsettling presence makes Ruth question her life and identity, as the strange becomes familiar and the familiar grows strange
-Guardian

Synopsis

A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer

Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman—Frida—claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in.
Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? Why do memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her own troubled past? And how far can Ruth trust herself?
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane's hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, trust, dependence, and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn't be. Here is a new writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to describe the mysterious workings of our minds.


A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

 

About Fiona McFarlane

See more books from this Author
Fiona McFarlane was born in 1978 in Sydney, Australia, and holds a PhD from Cambridge University and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Michener Fellow. Her work has been published in Zoetrope: All-Story, The Missouri Review, and The Best Australian Stories, and she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Australia Council for the Arts.
 
Published October 1, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 257 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Night Guest
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Anita Sethi on Jul 27 2014

That question of how real the tiger is also becomes central to The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane...Here, McFarlane employs it excellently, as Frida's unsettling presence makes Ruth question her life and identity, as the strange becomes familiar and the familiar grows strange

Read Full Review of The Night Guest: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Justine Jordan on Jan 24 2014

Ruth is already beginning to recede from herself...But then she didn't trust herself." Her tiger has always been a tiger of the mind. The achievement of McFarlane's book is to demonstrate with such clarity and measured compassion that the mind, in the end, is where all tigers live.

Read Full Review of The Night Guest: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jul 08 2013

This book is at once a beautifully imagined portrait of isolation and an unsettling psychological thriller.

Read Full Review of The Night Guest: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Emily Stokes on Jan 17 2014

...this is a witty, poetic psychological thriller in which the reader becomes so firmly embedded in Ruth’s mind that one cannot help but sympathise with her confusion.

Read Full Review of The Night Guest: A Novel | See more reviews from Financial Times

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by MICHELE FILGATE on Dec 28 2013

This is a novel about aging and loneliness; it’s also about deceit and selfishness...“The Night Guest” is an intellectual page-turner that examines fears and anxieties and trust.

Read Full Review of The Night Guest: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Reader Rating for The Night Guest
66%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 171 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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