It's 1922 and times are tough in London after the First World War. "Widowed Mrs. Wray and her daughter, Frances - an unmarried woman with an interesting past, now on her way to becoming a spinster - find themselves obliged to take in tenants." (cover blurb)
Life will never be the same with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a young modern couple. The change is unsettling with extra footsteps, music, laughter, and a dash of frivolity. Frances is drawn to a new friendship with Lilian, and uncertainty with Leonard. With this comes underlying currents of danger, passion, and drama.
This historical fiction novel has "nail-biting tension, believable characters, twists, and surprises. It's a love story, a crime story, and an atmospheric portrait of a fascinating time and place." (cover blurb)
Opening chapter - The Barbers had said they would arrive by three. It was like waiting to begin a journey, Frances thought. She and her mother had spent the morning watching the clock, unable to relax
I found The Paying Guests to be an interesting journey - well-written and mannered. I could frown with Frances, sigh with Lilian, and worry about everyone under this one roof. Nothing like opening the door to strangers. Life would truly never be the same.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.