The Night Guest

Night guestFiona McFarlane

First Sentence:     Ruth woke at four in the morning and her blurry brain said, ‘Tiger.’

Back of the book:

In an isolated house on the New South Wales coast, Ruth – a widow whose sons work abroad – lives alone. Until one day a stranger bowls up, announcing that she’s been sent by the authorities to be Ruth’s carer.

At first, Ruth is happy to have the company. Frida is efficient and helpful, and willing to listen to Ruth’s stories about her childhood in Fiji and the man she fell for there. But why does Ruth hear a tiger prowling through the house at night? How far can Ruth trust this enigmatic woman? And how far can she trust herself?

This hypnotic tale soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, dependence, fear and power, and about the mysterious workings of the mind. Here is a dazzling new writer, reminding us how powerfully fiction can speak to our innermost secrets.

Quotes from the book:

[…] part of her was also suspicious of his ability to translate feelings so readily into words. She came away from music with a sense of its shape, and from plays with a suggestion of pulled threads; she had no idea how to describe shapes and threads.

‘There’s some sense in not going back. That way, you preserve it.”

It came to her that she missed her children, not as they were now, with their own children, but as they had been when they were young. She would never see them again.

* * * *

Last Sentence:     They lunged for the sky, then fell back