One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor—and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.
The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan. As the passengers wearily search for rest, the house undergoes a strange transformation. One of their number (who is most definitely not a gentleman) makes it his business to join the birthday revels.
Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant parlor game threatens to blow respectability to smithereens: Smudge Torrington, the wayward youngest daughter of the house, decides that this is the perfect moment for her Great Undertaking.
The Uninvited Guests is the bewitching new novel from the critically acclaimed Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author triumphs in this frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises—where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety—and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence.
ARC from Harper Collins
This book to me is Downton Abbey with a paranormal twist. The reader doesn't suspect the paranormal twist, until the author reveals a bombshell about one of the guests. There is a sweet romance between the adult children of the two families. Jones takes a curious look at society at that time and how sensitive everyone was. The last couple of chapters detailing the moving of the pony just seemed really random to me.
The ending was wrapped up a little too neatly for me and I wished there was more background about the step parent. I found the Smudge character reminded me of Flavia from I am Half Sick Of Shadows. I also found it interesting that the main characters believed everything the uninvited guests said and didn't question them. It raises the question, do folks that live remotely tend to be more helpful even if it is inconvenient?