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 McFarlaneSee more books from this Author
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 strangeRead Full Review of The Night Guest: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
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
...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
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
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