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The Night Watch is exceedingly good

Ok, The Night Watch deserves a better review than just "it's about some gay people in WWII." Because WHILE THAT IS TRUE, it is also about OTHER stuff. And also it's really really good and you should read it.

So Sarah Waters is awesome. If you're looking for lesbian authors who are good/respected/don't only write about sexy lady detectives who fall in love with other sexy ladies, then she should be on your list. In fact, I think it's pretty much her, Emma Donoghue and Jeanette Winterson (but we all know how I feel about Winterson, yes? DEFOGIFY YOUR WORK, WOMAN — "I'm writing about my childhood now....or am I?").

I'd add Dorothy Allison and Fannie Flagg to that list. And probably Alice Walker. But anyway.

It appears that in a dastardly attempt at disappointing my future self, I did not write down quotes from this wonderful book. 


So you shall have to trust me when I say that the writing is clear and wonderful, as is usually the case with Sarah Waters.

Night Watch starts in 1947, introduces you to several threads — Kay is sad; Helen and Viv have Mysterious Pasts and also run a 1940s OkCupid; and something....something is up with Duncan.
 
This is how we begin. And it goes BACKWARDS. So you hit 1944 and 1941, and you basically learn how to feel like shit over how easy Americans had it in WWII. "Oh, you weren't constantly living with the fear of being blown to pieces by a bomb or drowned in a flooded Underground station? How nice for you. Good job on that Victory Garden though." And now I'm even angrier about what a dick Molly was to Emily in Happy Birthday, Molly.

Because it's Sarah Waters, it's a super-gay book. And by 'super-gay' I mean 'has gay characters.' So if that's not your cup of tea (*eyeballs you*), then I guess stay away? But if you like awesome books, you should read it. Plus there's a token straight character, so, y'know. That should appease you, right?

And there are FEELINGS and CHARACTER ARCS, even though they happen backwards, and tons of WWII-related things I did not KNOW about, and ladies kissing ladies and some dudes being in love with dudes.


No, but honestly, the appeal is in the characters and slowly understanding how they end up where they are in '47. It's the best that Waters has written, if we're going by "literary merit" and not "has sexy scenes of sexiness" (in which case, Tipping the Velvet would obviously win). So you should read it. And apparently DON'T read Waters's The Little Stranger, because I have been informed that that one sucks.

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