Book Review: The Guest List

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The Guest List
SPOILER-FREE BOOK REVIEW

by Lucy Foley
William Morrow
RELEASE DATE: May 5, 2020


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Screen Shot 2019-05-27 at 9.16.28 PMA high-profile wedding is happening on a remote island off the Connemara coast in Ireland. He is prince charming with a rising television career. She is a type-A magazine publishing executive. They are established, ridiculously good looking:  the quintessential power couple.

Mainlanders gossip about hauntings of the abandoned island. Surrounded by treacherous waters with crumbling castles and a bog that is said to have swallowed people alive, it’s not hard to see why. But the detail-oriented bride, with help from a wedding planner who knows the island well, transforms the hostile setting into a swanky destination with gothic charm.

The Folly itself is a beautifully restored fifteenth-century building, treading the line between luxury and timelessness, grandeur and comfort: antique rugs on the flagstone floors, claw-footed baths, fireplaces lit with smoldering peat. It’s large enough to fit all our guests, yet small enough to feel intimate. It’s perfect. Everything is going to be perfect (16).

The exclusive guests arrive and the champagne is flowing. Though meticulously planned, people are unpredictable. Dancing to the tune of the good old days, the groomsmen revert to prep school douche bags and the pot stirs with spilled secrets, petty jealousies, ancient resentments, and a thirst for revenge. 

Then… The lights go out. A bloodcurdling scream. A body. Who is it? Who did it?

Screen Shot 2019-05-27 at 9.17.49 PMReminiscent of Agatha Christie, The Guest List stands out in an overwhelming swell of mediocre mysteries. Foley skillfully ramps up the suspense; it is clear that a murder is coming but the story is unique in the sense that, not only will it keep you guessing who the murderer is, you have to guess who the victim is too. Everyone is suspicious and everyone has motive.

Told from varying viewpoints and jumping between past and present, the story is surprisingly easy to follow. Weaved throughout are addictive inklings of the characters secretive histories. Atmospheric and thrilling, The Guest List is down-right entertaining. Shout-out to Book of the Month for another stellar selection. 

I am conflicted on what to rate this book. Reflecting upon the story in its entirety, I see its flaws. A few too many coincidences… But I was engrossed in the story—I could not put it down!! Click here to purchase The Guest List on Amazon and support the blog!

3.8 stars. Out of respect, I’ll give it 4 stars on Goodreads.

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