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The Uninvited Guests

A Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 19, 2012 – Sterne, the English country house at the center of this remarkable dark comedy, is home to the Torringtons—mother Charlotte, a widow now married to Edward Swift; children Emerald, Clovis, and “Smudge”; and an assortment of faithful staff. Set sometime in the early part of the 20th century, somewhere in the north of England (the ambiguity is telling), the novel takes place over a single day, April 30. A celebration is underway for Emerald’s 20th birthday, and what appears to be a Wodehouseian comedy with a touch of Dodie Smith is derailed when a local train jumps its track, soon filling Sterne with stranded, shocked passengers. The “uninvited guests” are decidedly lower class and deliberately indistinct, but for one notable exception: Charlie Traversham-Beechers, who seems to know a good deal about the family, particularly Charlotte. Jones’s (Small Wars) characters are delightfully eccentric, the wit delightfully droll, and the prose simply delightful. But for all its charm, this is a serious book; it’s no coincidence that the new day dawning at its close is May Day, or International Workers’ Day, though Jones’s theme is less class warfare than the seemingly absolute divide between the classes.

Customer Reviews

The Uninvited Guests

This is a strange book and not in a good way. I didn't like it at all. A waste of my time!

What a marvelous story!

I can't be specific because I don't want to give anything away, but it was a wonderful weekend at Sterne, and I feel lucky to have been part of it!

Mistakenly invited

Not quite what I was expecting based on the premise set to build this story. It somehow felt flat, predictable, and, by the end, quite boring. It has it's moments of charm and literary crafty design, but the absurdist nature of it all just hindered what could possibly had been an excellent read.

The Uninvited Guests
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Ghost
  • Published: May 01, 2012
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings