The Uninvited Guests, by Sadie Jones (2012)
Set in a country estate (run down, but still maintaining a name – Sterne, and a small staff) in 1912 when a storm breaks out on the eve of Emerald’s birthday dinner party, this is such a classic set up the first line should be “It was a dark and stormy night…” However this novel takes a less-traditional twist then murder by candlestick in the drawing room or the wrench in the conservatory. A group of refugees from the storm seek shelter in the house, but when one of them works his way into the more formal party, the evening takes some strange turns. With little help from their flaky mother (and their step-father out of town), Emerald and her brother Clovis must take care of the guests, and their younger sister Smudge, who is focused on a “Great Undertaking” of her own. The madness turns into a dark comedy that has a few strange elements leaving the reader unsure of what really happened.
I am willing to admit I first heard of this book on pinterest, and while a decent read, it was not what I was expecting.
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