Sarah Waters, the award-winning author of three novels set in Victorian London, returns with a stunning novel that marks a departure from the 19th century.
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller. This is the story of four Londoners - three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching... Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret... Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover... Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances...
Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant.
The Night Watch is a truthful, lovely book that needs no conjuring tricks to make you want to read it again - Philip Hensher, Observer
Brilliantly done... the period detail never overwhelms the simple, passionate human story. It's a tour-de-force of hints, clues and dropped threads - Suzi Feay, Independent on Sunday
The Night Watch leaves you with the sense of having read something rich and complex pared down with consummate skill by a first-class storyteller into a series of deceptively simple tales of love. Which is a fancy way of saying that Sarah Waters's latest offering lingers on, long after the final page and its first, most fateful meeting - Melanie McGrath, Evening Standard
Waters secret is her absolute control of the pace - each strand of the plot is paid out carefully at the same speed, no rushing, no favouritism. The characters are given equal weight and time, so that by the end of the first section you're equally gripped by all of them. It is in the second section that Waters really proves her genius with plot. We never return to the future, the drama of The Night Watch runs backwards into the war, then before. It is a measure of Waters' talent that this isn't frustrating and that the reader is quite happy to allow her to resolve all the tensions in character and plot in the past - Mary Wakefield, Sunday Telegraph
....this outstandingly gifted novelist releases her imagination into her most compelling depiction yet - Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
Sarah Waters was born in Wales. She has won a Betty Trask Award, the Somerset Maugham Award and her books have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith and The Night Watch have been adapted for television. Sarah Waters has been named Author of the Year four times: by the British Book Awards, the Booksellers' Association, Waterstone's Booksellers and the Stonewall Awards. She lives in London. She was awarded an OBE in 2019.