A group of friends — each with their own worries and cares — gathers for a dinner party, which is interrupted when a group of lower-class travelers arrives, demanding shelter after an unfortunate railroad accident.The children, too, feeling that they were at the end of a line, as children do (for indeed, they are), loved Sterne as exhausted travellers with lifetimes of migration behind them might love their first and last home.This novel of elegant prose and humorous mishaps would be perfect performed as a play; in fact, I wasn’t surprised at all when I read that the author is a screenwriter. It’s a tale of a dinner party gone terribly wrong that captures the flavor of the time period without specifically referring to the date at all (at least that I can recall). The events — and characters themselves, at times — are slightly absurd in a over-the-top, theatrical form that I kept wanting to see on stage.I was disappointed, however, that the strange, supernatural twist was revealed far too soon. Again, had it been a play, the reader might have found out at the same time as the characters — at the very end — and left their seats with shivers up their spine. Once the reader knows what’s really going on, though, all of the tension and my desire to keep flipping pages is subdued, and the last thirty pages or so seem like a long-winded epilogue.Overall: A witty story better suited for stage than page.