I particularly liked the “backwards” storytelling. The story begins in post-war London in 1947 and paints a dreary picture of life at that time. All of the characters are introduced in this first part of the book and the book takes us back in time, filling in the gaps and answering the questions that arise in this first section. The second and third sections of the book are full of the harrowing life of Londoners in World War II – it is against this backdrop that Sarah Waters explores the themes of love, jealousy and suspicion; powerful emotions that can destroy lives. I think Sarah Waters is particularly talented at creating authentic settings and “The Night Watch” is no exception to this.
The book took me a long time to read, but it wasn’t because I was bored by it. It was so packed with emotion that at times, I needed to break off to allow it to all sink in. An intense, but absorbing book, it is one which I thoroughly recommend.