The Night Watch

The Night Watch

by Sarah Waters
4.1 26

Paperback(Reprint)

$10.96 $17.00 Save 36% Current price is $10.96, Original price is $17. You Save 36%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Wednesday, August 23 ,  Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.

Overview

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

“[A] wonderful novel…Waters is almost Dickensian in her wealth of description and depth of character.”—Chicago Tribune

Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit partying, and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch tells the story of four Londoners—three women and a young man with a past—whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in tragedy, stunning surprise and exquisite turns, only to change irreversibly in the shadow of a grand historical event.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594482304
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 121,831
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sarah Waters is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Paying GuestsThe Little Stranger,The Night WatchFingersmith, Affinity, and Tipping the Velvet. She has three times been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, has twice been a finalist for the Orange Prize, and was named one of Granta’s best young British novelists, among other distinctions. Waters lives in London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Night Watch 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
readtolive_livetoread More than 1 year ago
This is elegant and complex and a compelling story. It evokes the subtleties of relationships, the little lies and hide-and-seek one plays with oneselves and one's partners. She creates such a vivid atmosphere of the war in London and the sense of displacement and ennui that followed. The fact that some the characters are in homosexual relationship is purely incidental. It is the universal qualities of the human relationships that create these memorable characters. Anyone looking for a titilating read, however, will be disappointed. I hope straight readers don't miss this book biased by Water's reputation as a"lesbian writer." She is a bloody good writer, and this straight reader recommends this book 5 stars.
harstan More than 1 year ago
By 1947, the war has been over for two years, but London is still reeling from the bombings and the deaths, and trying to convert to a post war economy. Everyday people struggle with finding their place in life. Kay drove an ambulance during the war and had a female lover Helen, but the men are back from the western front and so she is expected to quietly do female work or get married. Helen cannot deal with her past female lovers as she is filled with jealousy, but like Kay the men are back so she must return to the closet. Duncan spent the war in prison so though freed physically is incarcerated in his mind as he cannot let go of what happened to him during the war. Finally his sister Viv loves a married soldier, Reggie, who she feels returns her regard, but can never leave his wife. ----- - THE NIGHT WATCH is a superb look at WWII and its aftermath through the eyes of ordinary people expected to return to normalcy now that the hostilities are over. The story line reverses chronological order by starting in 1947 (after the war is over) going back to 1944 (the end seems in sight) and finally 1941 (the war has just begun and looks dark and foreboding). The cast is powerfully drawn so that the audience can observe how each member of the ensemble and others who touched their lives struggle with going back to who they were in the 1930s when they have seen and done so much.----- Harriet Klausner
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
I read the blurb on the back of the cover of this book and found myself intrigued by the idea that it might end with its beginning. My only reason for not reading earlier was that the book is long and I'm in a lets-read-short-books phase. But the story is actually split into three parts, so I fooled myself into treating each part as a short book, and then I couldn't put it down. I found I really did want to find out what a story told backwards would feel like. And I like the result. The setting was certainly of interest to me-1940s London. I've heard of the air-raids from family members, of shelters, the sounds of bombs, the darkened streets. And there's quite a cast of fascinating characters, all nicely delineated. Occasionally I'd wonder, now where did I meet her, but only in the same sense as I might out on the street, soon realizing who it was and eager to learn what happened next-or what happened in the past. There were mysteries neatly set up in the earliest part, relationships with pasts half-told and the promise of learning more. It's actually quite an interesting way to uncover a story, retreating through time and wondering. After all, we usually get to know who people are before we learn who they were. What intrigued me most was how complete the story felt when the mysteries were told, though the future stayed unknown. Like life, but in a good way. In fact, the whole novel feels very complete despite the uncertain future. The characters have settled in my mind. I know them, more than I ever would in real life. I like them for all that they're not like me, and it's not just time and war that separates. I'm glad the world has changed and I hope it changes more, and I want the best for those who inherit their dreams. SALON.COM says the novel "chronicles love, sex, and obsession." It chronicles much more, and it invites the reader to know and understand in a way few novels can, by adding the danger of war and that aspect of change that unsettles enough to leave the mind half-open. I can smell the broken buildings, the ash and the dust, and see the gifts of childhood lost and torn. And I love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I discovered Sarah Waters for myself when I picked up Fingersmith and simply couldn't put it down. I followed up that novel with Affinity, and although it had a far more tragic storyline, I found it yet again filled with fascinating characters and surprising twists and turns in the plot. However, while Night Watch was great on well-formed, multi-layered and interesting characters, the plot was less to be desired. I found myself genuinely interested in where each of the character's stories were going, and was particularly intrigued by the backwards storyline where you start at the end of their tales and work your way to the beginning--but there were not that many suprising revelations, no big jolt at the end as in the other two novels. Set in London prior to, during, and just after WWII, Night Watch is a change from Waters' other novels, which take place in England's Victorian mid to late 1800's, and, as in her other novels, the time period appears to be well researched. Addtionally, This book also gets more heavily into the lesbian relationships of some of the main characters, which were discussed much more discreetly (i.e. Victorian-like) in Fingersmith and Affinity. It is worth reading alone for the historical peek at the time period.
hokmah More than 1 year ago
Sarah Waters is an amazing writer and story teller. She weaves the characters together in such a way that sometimes i forget who is who and where they are - but that is the way she writes - going back and forth, introducing new scenes and building to a fabulous ending. Her writing is most always from a Victorian London/England era - which is always interesting to me - a bit dark - compelling and a cliff hanger. I have read most of her books and seen some of the movies. Fingersmith is amazing - Touching the Velvet and Affinity is great too. The cinema - photography is wonderful - putting the visual in AFTER you read the book is always good. Her characters become real - with real feelings and experiences - especially given the time and the era. Somewhat erotic, but tastefully done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though the novel is well researched and well written, the characters and their story lines are only mildly compelling, especially for readers hooked by 'Tipping the Velvet' and 'Fingersmith.' It is the WW2 context that stands out in this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He sat on the floor, waiting for people to come
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like all of waters books the plot and characters are highly developed. I love how she is able to write books that contain lesbians, but the entire plot isnt the tired and over used coming out story or curious and bored housewife. This book is rrally amazing and heartbreaking. I definitely recommed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SlugLover More than 1 year ago
I love Sarah Waters' books. This one left me a bit mystified. The writer moves the plot back in time and leaves out a lot of detail, which left me wondering at each backward shift...but how did? and were they? and how did they get from there to here? I did love her accurate description of life in wwII england. Historically, I was moved by the suffering of the English and their sacrifices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Night Watch is a book I purchased hoping I would get a good World War II war story about the trials and tribulations in the London area during battles from the air. Little did I know that I was getting into a womanizing, sort of lesbianism living along with the war disasters. This is a story of several women that bounces between early and late WWII times that tells of their work as Emergency Workers rescuing and helping those injured in the German air raids. In between the rescue work the women love each other to the point of hugging, touching, and kissing each other. One wonders if the war caused this abnormal style of life for that time in history or if they truly did love each other. There were some relationships with men, one of which resulted in a baby that was not wanted. The women went out in war torn London walking around in the dark taking in the many damaged buildings, roads, and most all infrastructure in and around the city. Some worked for the Emergency Responders and drove ambulances through areas where roads were all torn up and at least partially impassable. Their desire for helping those hurt was strong and ended with success and/or failure. The relationship of these women is described quite closely in the book. If you can take the love of women for other women, there is a good story here giving great descriptions of what London was like during the war. It was no place to be if one was the least bit queasy. The sights and sounds were sometimes very hard to take because of the terrible injuries. The men in the book were either family or close friends, some in prison, some not, and some after prison. Also there is a good description of life in prison during these air raids. Imagine yourself closed up in a prison cell while hearing the raiding airplanes approaching and the sounds of explosions either far away or coming closer each minute. Sarah Waters has given a good account of Great Britain during WWII but I especially did not appreciate so much writing on the lesbian specter and the actions of them towards each other. Enter this book with caution if you have any qualms about same sex partners.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Characters you can love and a story that keeps you fascinated...what else could you want? I couldn't put it down.