A Book in Reverse

CHARLIE HOPKINSON

BLITZED: Waters' new novel takes readers back to World War II

Sarah Waters has switched gears. Her latest novel, The Night Watch, is a departure from her first three: instead of her reader-tested Victorian settings, she's jumped to the 1940s. Her mainstay of one or two central protagonists has evolved into an ensemble of characters. Oh, yeah — and the novel's narrative moves backwards in time. "It did feel like a leap of faith," reflects Waters, 39, eating satsumas in her publisher's London office. Her manner is almost shy, but she exudes a palpable self-possession. "I thought," she says, with a hint of wistfulness to her smile, "as much as I've loved...

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