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
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Having read this book myself, I bought it as a gift for a friend
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
This is an excellent book, our book group is going to "do" it in 2014.
'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.
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 21st August 2013
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.4 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.42