The most common descriptor used for The Uninvited Guests
on Goodreads is "odd." And that's certainly an adept descriptor. Odd book, indeed.
Reminiscent of Edward Gorey, Downton Abbey
and maybe a little Agatha Christie, this story takes place in one night in 1912, the eve of Emerald Torrington's 20th birthday. Her stepfather, whom she and brother Clovis hate for no other reason than they feel obligated, is off to the city to try to secure a loan that will save their estate, the crumbling Sterne. Nevertheless, mother Charlotte has arranged a small dinner party with a few neighbors and potential suitors. The evening is interrupted by news of a train accident nearby – the Torringtons are expected to house a small group of third-class passengers until help can safely arrive. Naturally, one of these passengers isn't what he seems.
Oh, and baby sister Smudge has smuggled a pony into the house.
I liked it, but I do say that hesitantly. The plot moves slooooowly and I often found myself wondering what the point could possibly be, but the characters were well-drawn and full of wit. I certainly found the plot to be pleasant enough, but I often wondered if there was a reference or an attempt at satire that was dangling somewhere over my head just beyond my reach.
Then, things take a strange turn and instead of Downton Abbey
ing, Sadie Jones seems to be Twilight Zone
ing, maybe? I wouldn't say the turn is all together unexpected (especially given the big spoiler I accidentally read), but it's definitely...odd.