The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones

84%

21 Critic Reviews

Jones has a painfully accurate...for the dialogue of the clever, bratty sorts of people who generally make up the fauna of such houses, and she’s got a delightful streak of cruelty that flirts with, and then tumbles straight into bed with, the gothic.
-Time Magazine

Synopsis

A grand old manor house deep in the English countryside will open its doors to reveal the story of an unexpectedly dramatic day in the life of one eccentric, rather dysfunctional, and entirely unforgettable family. Set in the early years of the twentieth century, award-winning author Sadie Jones’s The Uninvited Guests is, in the words of Jacqueline Winspear, the New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries A Lesson in Secrets and Elegy for Eddie, “a sinister tragi-comedy of errors, in which the dark underbelly of human nature is revealed in true Shakespearean fashion.”
 

About Sadie Jones

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Sadie Jones's first novel, The Outcast, was published to wide critical acclaim and won the Costa First Novel Award in Great Britain. It was also a finalist for the prestigious Orange Prize, as well as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her second novel, Small Wars, a tale of love, war, and honor, was published to impressive critical praise. She lives in London.
 
Published May 1, 2012 by Harper. 274 pages
Genres: Horror, History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Uninvited Guests
All: 21 | Positive: 19 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Mar 15 2012

There’s no question about Jones’ skill—the novel is cleverly constructed and written in smooth prose. It’s quite a step down in ambition...however, from her two previous novels.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Stephanie Merritt on Mar 25 2012

Sadie Jones's highly entertaining third novel seems perfectly conceived to appeal to two current popular tastes – our fascination with the Edwardian country house and the revival of the English ghost story.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Helen Dunmore on Mar 14 2012

But another current is at work within the novel, and because The Uninvited Guests is a creation of the 21st century, historical knowledge cannot help but force itself on the narrative.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Jun 06 2012

Amid all the hectic action of this novel, Jones never lets readers forget the central insight that this glittering great house culture is built on barbarism.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Egelma on May 25 2012

THE UNINVITED GUESTS is a fun reimagining of Edwardian-era comedies of manners. Jones plays with social class and conventions and builds to a great scandal...

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by J.C. Sutcliffe on May 30 2012

More light-hearted than Jones’s previous books, but no less piercing in its observations, The Uninvited Guests is an elegant and accomplished novel.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Nancy Wigston on Aug 10 2012

In this darkly delightful virtuoso performance, Jones sails into the choppy social waters of Edwardian England, a world where women wear shimmering gowns and shoes “dyed to match by gypsies."

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Nancy Wigston on Aug 10 2012

Part romance, part ghoulish nightmare, the book revels in recreating a vanished world,when hard times...meant you were reduced to two indoor servants and your mother..

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Donna Rifkind on Jun 22 2012

...her still lifes in prose contribute to a hallucinatory mood, so that as the story unfolds, it begins to seem like a seductive dream about a familiar place.

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The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by Rachel Hore on Apr 01 2012

Stylish, witty and inventive it may be, but The Uninvited Guests is perhaps too much about the writer at play to satisfy Sadie Jones's hungry fans.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Emma Hagestadt on Mar 30 2012

Suffice to say that Jones's highly combustible period piece makes the dramas at Downton look like a stroll in the park.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Philip Womack on Apr 04 2012

this is an engrossing, enjoyable confection that pays homage to its literary ghosts with aplomb.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Mary Pols on May 13 2012

...is about renewal and rebirth, stirred by external forces but ultimately coming from within. It is a sublimely clever book about generosity, discovered late, yet just in time.

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Denver Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Robin Vidimos on May 20 2012

These well-imagined characters serve to raise stakes the reader cares about. They move beyond archetypes, becoming something unexpectedly rich and engaging.

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Time Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Lev Grossman on May 02 2012

Jones has a painfully accurate...for the dialogue of the clever, bratty sorts of people who generally make up the fauna of such houses, and she’s got a delightful streak of cruelty that flirts with, and then tumbles straight into bed with, the gothic.

Read Full Review of The Uninvited Guests | See more reviews from Time Magazine

The Book Smugglers

Good
Reviewed by Ana on May 14 2012

...triumphs in this frightening yet sinister drama of dark surprises – where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety...

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The Picky Girl

Good
Reviewed by Jenn on May 17 2012

The novel goes into dark places, much darker than the opening chapters signify, but in the end, its wickedness makes this stand out as a much more interesting novel.

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BookPeople's Blog

Good
Reviewed by Robyn on Jul 06 2012

This book tugged at my heartstrings, made me want to yell at characters, laugh out loud, look over my shoulder and ultimately adore every single page and person.

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Meaghan Walsh Gerard

Good
Reviewed by Meaghan Gerard on Apr 30 2012

The book’s uncanniness is quickly addictive...Various scenes come in and out of focus and the author manages to demonstrate contemporaneous events very well.

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Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes

Good
Reviewed by Susannah Hardy on Jul 19 2012

By the end, everything is neatly wrapped up...but it absolutely suits the story, which would make a wonderful play.

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Royal Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Cat on May 02 2012

I loved it! Very original, a deliciously witty commentary on Edwardian manners and attitudes, a ghost story and a clever foretelling of the future.

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Reader Rating for The Uninvited Guests
55%

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