Sarah Waters is a woman of our year for single-handedly expanding the queer canon—and making it look easy. The Welsh author of notable queer classics like Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith has penned a total of five historical fiction novels. Her newest work, The Paying Guests, takes readers to 1922 London. A widower and her 26-year-old daughter, Frances Wray, are newly renting out their home to a married couple, Lillian and Leonard Barber. Lillian and Frances’s close friendship soon blossoms into a secret romance that must be hidden at all costs, until the two women start to plan to have a life together—openly.
A literature PhD [...]