Book Review: The Night Watch

Author: Sarah Waters
Title: The Night Watch
Call no: WAT
Genre: Fiction

Set in the 1940s in London during and after the World War II, the story unfolds backward from the 1940s to end with the beginning in 1941. Written in a third person perspective, one follow the lives of now seemingly strangers back to their very first separate encounters.

This interesting form of backward narrative begins from 1947, after the World War II ended. A woman who once rode the ambulance during the war continues her search for adventure in life with her mannish attire, a young man imprisoned during the war now lives with an elderly man and a young woman has thoughts of ending her affair with a soldier lover.

3 years back, the ambulance driver sought to shelter her female lover from the daily bombings, the young man fended off attacks of a ‘boyfriend’ while in prison, and the young lady went for an underground miscarriage with her soldier lover, who ran away before it ends.

Ending in 1941, the young lady fell in love on a train with a soldier unsatisfied with his marriage, the young man faltered in an attempted suicide with his best friend, and a woman who volunteered to help in the war rescued a female survivor of a collapsed house.

Where one normally follows the story of the characters from the past to the present or the present to the future in most novels, one will enjoy a different way of knowing more about the characters by unraveling their pasts with every page read in this book.

Source: PPC volunteer L. L.