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The Night Guest : Shortlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Award - Fiona McFarlane

The Night Guest

Shortlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Award

Paperback

Published: 21st August 2013
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Published: 21st August 2013
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One morning Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. Later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she's blown in from the sea. In fact she's come to care for Ruth. Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem.

Which of them can Ruth trust? And as memories of her childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, can she even trust herself?

The Night Guest is a mesmerising novel about love, dependence, and the fear that the things you know best can become the things you're least certain about. It introduces a writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to tap the mysterious workings of our minds, and keeping us spellbound.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

Ladies and gents, could I have a drum roll please?

Writing a novel is like walking a highwire. So when a new artiste makes her debut, you expect a wobble or two. But not in this case. I don't know where she's been hiding up to now, but Fiona McFarlane is a bright new star in Australian fiction. She's got all the assurance and the confidence of a seasoned performer. Here she enters the ring with a story about fear, trust, ageing and death; to borrow from another profession where skill is paramount, she handles her themes with a light deft touch, like an expert pastry chef blessed with cool fingers.

Ruth is a widow who lives by the sea. Sometimes alert, sometimes confused. At night she thinks she hears a tiger prowling inside her house. Then, out of the blue, Frida appears as a home help, a carer companion who can keep the tiger at bay. At least for a while. But perhaps the tiger is not the only predator and there are other things to fear...

This is a book about serious things but it made me smile. I felt I was in capable hands right to the very end. Enchanting, original and bold, McFarlane is a tiger tamer indeed.

About the Author

Fiona McFarlane was born in Sydney, and has degrees in English from Sydney University and Cambridge University, and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Michener Fellow. Her work has been published in Zoetrope: All-Story, Southerly, the Best Australian Stories and the New Yorker, and she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy and the Australia Council for the Arts. The Night Guest, her debut novel, has sold into fifteen territories around the world. She lives in Sydney.

b>BOOKTOPIA INTERVIEW: FIONA MCFARLANE ANSWERS BOOKTOPIA'S TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Night Guest
 
4.2

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to read (5)
  • Well written (5)
  • Engaging characters (4)
  • Informative (3)
  • Page-turner (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Older readers (5)
    • Gift (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Everyday reader (3)

    Reviewed by 5 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-5

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    4.0

    Excellent reading

    By na

    from Bris

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Engaging characters
    • Informative
    • Page-Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Older Readers
      • Reference

      Comments about The Night Guest:

      Found it fascinating

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      I was hooked to this!

      By Lillian

      from Australia

      About Me Casual Reader

      Pros

      • Easy To Read
      • Engaging characters
      • Informative
      • Page-Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Older Readers
        • Reference

        Comments about The Night Guest:

        A very moving and unsettling story. The character Frida has a very powerful presence, comparable to Annie Wilkes.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Beautiful writing style

        By Ros the Reader

        from Sydney

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Disturbing Storyline
        • Easy To Read
        • Informative
        • Well Written

        Cons

        • Not What I Expected

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Older Readers

        Comments about The Night Guest:

        Having read this book myself, I bought it as a gift for a friend

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        The Night Guest

        By shirl the girl

        from Sydney AU

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Read
        • Engaging characters
        • Page-Turner
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Travel Reading

          Comments about The Night Guest:

          This book was a bit of a thriller because this reader was eager to read on to find out what would happen next. It was also informative in a subtle way and beautifully written

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          A very good read

          By Garboo

          from Sydney

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Read
          • Engaging characters
          • Intriguing
          • SATISFYING
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers

            Comments about The Night Guest:

            This is an excellent book, our book group is going to "do" it in 2014.

            Comment on this review

            Displaying reviews 1-5

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            'The Night Guest is such an accomplished and polished debut. There's a delicacy and poignancy to the writing, combined with almost unbearable suspense. I love books in which I have no idea what's going to happen next!' - Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life.

            ISBN: 9781926428550
            ISBN-10: 1926428552
            Audience: General
            Format: Paperback
            Language: English
            Number Of Pages: 288
            Published: 21st August 2013
            Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.4  x 2.5
            Weight (kg): 0.42
            Edition Number: 1