The night guest / Fiona McFarlane.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "An elderly Australian woman lets a mysterious and possibly sinister caretaker into her beach-side home and into her life"-- Provided by publisher.
    • ISBN:
      9780865477735 : HRD
      0865477736 : HRD
    • Accession Number:
      2013022511
    • Accession Number:
      fay.388276

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2013 September #1

An eerie aura of foreboding pervades McFarlane's debut novel about Ruth, a lonely widow living in an isolated beach house in Australia. Ruth's life is quiet and predictable, save for one conspicuous bit of strangeness: she is certain a tiger is prowling around her property at night. Ruth's world is turned upside down when a stranger named Frida appears at her doorstep, claiming to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth is wary of Frida at first, but the two eventually form an uneasy alliance. As time goes by, however, Ruth begins to suspect that Frida is hiding something. She is very secretive, with a strange brother, George, who drives a local taxi. One night, Frida kills the tiger that has been tormenting Ruth. Not long after, she reveals some distressing news about her brother: he has taken all of her money and skipped town. McFarlane's crisp, clean, lean prose is a pleasure to read, though her novel's startling ending may leave some readers scratching their heads. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2013 May #2

Widowed Ruth lives a quiet life by the sea until a woman claiming to be a government caseworker enters her life. Suddenly, Ruth starts recalling her childhood in Fiji and seems to hear a tiger roaming. Creeping fear, the long road of aging, and the inviolable presence of the colonial past: this is the publisher's important fiction debut for the fall.

[Page 54]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

LJ Reviews 2013 September #2

Australian Ruth Field did not anticipate living alone in her seaside retirement cottage. The sudden death of husband Harry has left the septuagenarian coping relatively well but feeling the effects of age creeping up on her like the tigers she dreams are prowling through the living room. Frida, a government home health aide, arrives and quickly insinuates herself into Ruth's life (and spare bedroom). Ruth initially welcomes the help, but is Frida really whom she claims to be? Flashbacks to Ruth's childhood as a missionary's daughter in Fiji and her rekindled romance with Richard, her first love, bring out themes of colonialism, isolation, and the effects of imposing one's will upon another—well intentioned or not. VERDICT Sydney native McFarlane debuts with a tense, psychological thriller that skillfully builds and weaves around the two women as Ruth confronts her growing dependence. Gothic in sensibility, with a touch of magic realism, this novel feels at once like a classic and a fresh, original tale of engrossing literary suspense. Fans of psychologically oriented Scandinavian fiction should feel a familiar draw to this first novel, which is already creating significant buzz around the globe. [See Prepub Alert, 4/29/13.]—Jennifer B. Stidham, Houston Community Coll. Northeast

[Page 67]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2013 July #2

A widow contends with loneliness and the subtle indignities of old age in McFarlane's rich and suspenseful debut. At 75, Ruth Field lives alone in the Australian seaside home she once shared with her husband, Harry. Hers is a structured and solitary existence, punctuated by obligatory calls from her adult sons and the occasional sounds of an imagined jungle tiger strolling through her parlor at night. One morning, the commanding Frida Young arrives, claiming to have been sent by the government as a personal aide. Ruth must adjust her once orderly routine to "Valkyric" Frida, who can "fix everything" and yet is "always wanting... without ever quite admitting it." Together the women explore the vulnerabilities of loneliness and aging, even as clues mount that Frida is not who she claims to be. In Ruth's small and tightly inhabited world, McFarlane gives a flourish to even the smallest observations: Frida exhales through her nose "with an equine vigor"; Ruth's furniture appears "almost anxious for her approval, as if... waiting for her forgiveness, dressed in its very best clothes." This book is at once a beautifully imagined portrait of isolation and an unsettling psychological thriller. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, the Gernert Company. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC