July 15, 2006

The Night Watch

The Night Watch
Sarah Waters


(July 15, 2006)

Like the author's brilliant Fingersmith, this historical novel wraps a lyrical and detailed historical fiction around a formal experiment. Waters has a superb feel for historical detail, and her interest in understanding the varieties of Lesbian experience in the era before Stonewall illuminates the book. The formal experiment in Fingersmith was intriguing, although in retrospect we might wonder whether it grows organically from the needs of the story. In The Night Watch, the formal experiment almost seems grafted on. Perhaps there's a point about our generation's experience of the War. The war was the cradle of our world, and so all our cradle stories flow backwards.