The Night Guest

By Fiona McFarlane
(Faber & Faber, Hardcover, 9780865477735, 256pp.)

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2013 Indie Next List
“You will be hard-pressed to find a more unsettling read this year. From the very beginning, this tale of a widow living alone in an isolated locale and the mysterious woman who comes to take care of her is filled with a subtle haunting menace that lurks behind even the most simple of day-to-day events. It is the rare kind of novel that is genuinely unexpected and surprising. More than once while reading, you will have to put the book down, pick up the phone, and call your mom to make sure she's alright.”
-- Robert Sindelar, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2013 Indie Next List
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2013 Indie Next List


Description

A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer

Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman-Frida-claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in.
Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? Why do memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her own troubled past? And how far can Ruth trust herself?
"The Night Guest," Fiona McFarlane's hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, trust, dependence, and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn't be. Here is a new writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to describe the mysterious workings of our minds.

A "Kirkus Reviews "Best Fiction Book of 2013.




About the Author
Fiona McFarlane was born in 1978 in Sydney, Australia, and holds a PhD from 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", "The Missouri Review", and "The Best Australian Stories", and she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Australia Council for the Arts.
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