The Night Guest

The Night Guest

by Fiona McFarlane
3.6 8

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The Night Guest: A Novel 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing!  I stayed up until 1:00 am to finish it, woke up this morning and re-read both the first two chapters and the last two.  Intriguing and well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting look at aging and the workings of the mind. Original, creative, leaves you wanting a next novel from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting in the sense that it was very different. Leaves you guessing; I still don't know who the night guest was. Makes me want to keep a better eye on my elderly parents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Held my interest all the way through. Sad but true comentary on how society treats the elderly. Makes it easy to see how aging people can be taken advantage of. The author really made me feel the same confution Ruth felt. All in all a pretty gpod book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Long and rambling tale about getting old and being taken advantage of
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The Night Guest is the first novel by Australian author, Fiona McFarlane. In a novel filled with gorgeous, evocative prose, McFarlane builds a tale encompassing the following elements: an old widow living alone (Ruth Field); a deceased husband (Harry); two sons remotely located (Jeffrey and Phillip); a formidable care worker who insinuates herself into the widow’s life (Frida Young); the elderly man who was once the object of the widow’s teenage infatuation (Richard Porter); a taxi driver (Frida’s brother, George); a good Samaritan (Ellen Gibson); a substantial sum of money; two cats; a beachfront cottage; and a (possibly imaginary) tiger. McFarlane’s characters are familiar and believable, although occasionally, larger than life, and their dialogue is realistic. Her descriptions are redolent with rich imagery: “Frida sat on the unfamiliar chair and looked at Ruth, impassive. Her obstinacy had a mineral quality. Ruth felt she could chip away at it with a sharp tool and reveal nothing more than the uniformity of its composition” and “Ruth’s back objected to all this. She often imagined her back as an instrument; that way she could decide if the pain was playing in the upper or lower registers. Sometimes it was just a long, low note, and sometimes it was insistent and shrill. Lying in the sand, it was both. It was a whole brassy, windy ensemble” and “The day was that wet, pressed sort on which no one would make the effort to come to this part of the beach. In weather like this, the beach was revealed as both dangerous and dirty. The sea was oppressive, and the sky was bright and colourless and dragged down upon its surface” are just a few examples. McFarlane deftly creates the environment in which the events of her plot seem entirely plausible, and the reader will be filled with an escalating sense of foreboding as the novel progresses. McFarlane’s novel explores many topics: vulnerability, imagination, confusion and forgetfulness (“Where had all this been waiting while she worked so effortlessly to forget it? She sat trembling with gratitude for her brain, that sticky organ.”), as well as loss of independence, help, caring, communication, love and trust. This is quite an amazing debut novel.