The Night Watch is the one that works backwards. Of all the tricks she employs this is the least tricky. It doesn't violate plausibility or the integrity of any character, but you could put the chapters in the right order and I'm not sure you'd have altered anything important. Once you've read a novel it ceases to be sequential and all its times become one time (as happens too with one's own remembered past). Anyway, front to back or back to front, this is a tremendous book. Four people in London in the 1940s, their lives intersecting: bombs dropping, the black out, gay sex, straight sex, Wormwood Scrubs, friendship, family, betrayal, houseboats, offices, Christian Science, heartbreak.
Waters seeds her novels with key-words. They set the tone. You keep encountering them- in description, in conversation- deployed in different contexts. In Fingersmith the word is "sour". Here it is "queer". A rich word because of its multiple meanings. Yes, a significant number of the leading characters are gay but that's the least of it. A world at war is a queer world in the older sense- peculiar, out of kilter, agley- a world of empty cities, tottering houses, twisted relationships- a world in which social distinctions cease to matter and women can dress as men and no-one questions it, a world that is shaken and blasted and reconfigured every night. Incidentally- for all that she's famous as a lesbian writer- Waters does men and straight women awfully well.