“…she was furious at the way she fell in love with small things that turned out to be meaningless.”
What is this book about?
The Night Guest is about an older woman, Ruth, who lives alone in a village on the beach side of Australia. She recently lost her husband which means she now has to cope on her own. One night she hears a tiger sneaking around in her living room and the next day a caretaker named Frida arrives on her doorstep. After being hesitant at first, Ruth soon thinks Frida is her savior. But nothing is what is seems…
Why is it boring?
An old woman living a boring, simple life on the beach side simply sounds boring, right? Turns out, it’s not that boring at all! You get a glimpse inside Ruth’s mind, which puts you on a really interesting track. As a narrator – and an old woman – she seems unreliable. Her mind is abandoning her and you don’t know what is and isn’t happening. You also only get to know Frida, the caretaker, from the perspective of Ruth. This makes it very hard to believe that she has something up her sleeve. You’re tempted to keep faith in Frida until the end, even though your guts tell you not to. It’s quite an inner battle you’re fighting towards the end of the novel!
Who would you recommend it to?
If mystery novels are your thing you should definitely read this book. Also if you have parents you don’t see or call that often, go read this novel. You’ll think twice about not calling in on your (grand-) mother from now on.
Why should I read it if it’s boring?!
It’s a dazzling story and Fiona McFarlane writes in a very languid and interesting manner. It’s a great story about how the mind works or sometimes doesn’t work. I really liked the parts about the tiger creeping around in the house and the sense of danger it makes you feel about this. The book gives you the chance to form your own idea of the truth and shows that the concept is more idea than actual fact. Just like Ruth you start to doubt yourself and the world, no longer knowing what is actually happening. If you are looking for a confusing, world-shattering ride, give this one a try.
We received an ARC from the publisher Meulenhoff, who will soon publish the Dutch translation ‘Tijgers in de Nacht’.