THE UNINVITED GUESTS
Jones delicately and deliciously unfolds a mysterious and ultimately surprising story about an early 20th-century family’s tumultuous weekend. On the surface, this tale reads as a tongue-in-cheek farce, but delve a bit deeper, and the author has a great deal to say about family, class and expectations. It’s a very satisfying story with some great twists and turns.
After the death of her husband, Charlotte Torrington married Edward Swift, a move that was not altogether well received by her adult children, Emerald and Clovis, and just tolerated by 9-year-old Imogen. The family is at risk of losing their country home due to financial problems, and Edward is headed to the city to see if he can save it. While he is gone, they are expecting a few guests to celebrate Emerald’s birthday. An unfortunate nearby train accident brings many stranded passengers to the family estate. The entire weekend threatens to snowball out of control, unless they can figure out how to accommodate all of the guests, both invited and uninvited. (HARPER, May, 272 pp., $24.99)