Title: The Night Watch
Author: Sarah Waters
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Date of Publication: 27 September 2006
Number of Pages: 560
Summary: Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.
This is the story of four Londoners – three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching. Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret. Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover. Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances…
Partially formed characters.
Glad I didn’t read this as my first Waters novel because I wouldn’t go back to another. The Night Watch, compared to Tipping the Velvet or The Little Stranger or even The Paying Guests, is weak and underdeveloped. I felt for a large part of this book, I was reading a soap opera script. It was believable, but in a way, completely false.
The Night Watch is worth reading, it’s just not the best of the Waters bunch.