Tag Archives: General Fiction

Review: The Guest List

The Guest List

The Guest List
By Lucy Foley
William Morrow, 9780062868930, June 2020, 320pp.

The Short of It:

The cast of characters have arrived for a wedding on a remote island. What should be a celebratory event turns out to be a deadly affair.

The Rest of It:

Will and Jules are two, beautiful people. Happily successful in everything they do, they are the “it” couple and an invite to their wedding is not something the average person would ignore. Made up of old school chums, fellow colleagues and of course, the families of the bride and groom, the guest list is quite the to-do.

But Will and Jules are rather self-possessed and annoying. Jules has one bridesmaid, her younger sister who shows up to the wedding a bit of a mess. Will’s groomsmen are all extremely immature and juvenile but clearly there is some unfinished business between some of these characters and a big secret which could ruin the entire wedding.

I do enjoy a good story where the characters find themselves isolated with nowhere to hide. That sense of forced confinement really adds to the suspense and that is absolutely the case here. I didn’t see the big reveal coming until it was right in front of me. It was a good and proper ending for this story.

The setup is very similar to Foley’s earlier book, The Hunting Party. In that book, they arrive for a New Year’s Eve party, held at a fancy hunting lodge. The players in that book, share some similarity with those in The Guest List. That story takes place on secluded grounds, as does The Guest List. I feel that The Guest List possessed a bit more oomph in the area of suspense though and its reveal packed a more powerful punch. I was definitely more interested in these characters than the ones in The Hunting Party.

If this is a formula that Foley uses to write her books, then it’s a good one because both books are pretty entertaining and have done pretty well for themselves. Out of the two books, I’d recommend The Guest List for its setting.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
By Gail Honeyman
Penguin Books, 9780735220690, 2018, 352pp.

The Short of It:

It took me years to finally pick this book up and now I am hitting myself over the head with my copy because I could have enjoyed it years earlier.

The Rest of It:

What you need to know right off, is that this book has been marketed as “funny” and “warm” and with that colorful cover, it radiates a lightness which is probably why I overlooked it for so long. It remains a popular Reese Witherspoon pick, but nowhere, anywhere have I seen any reference to the heaviness of the story.

This story has some teeth, that’s what I am saying.

Eleanor is quirky and odd and as the author put it, sometimes a bit daft. She possesses a good job and manages to be somewhat social with her co-workers when needed, but in a very, off-putting formal way. She’s efficient when she needs to be, but a complete and total disaster other times.

Early on, it’s clear that something has happened to Eleanor. It’s referred to as “the incident” and it’s left her curiously alone, living in social housing with regular visits from a social worker. This is fine. Eleanor is fine, or so it seems until she meets a new co-worker by the name of Raymond. Up until this point, she has convinced herself that her life is good but Raymond’s sweet, unassuming ways and the kindness he displays forces her to consider the life she’s been living thus far and she has found it to be lacking.

Sigh. This book! It kind of tore me up a little. It’s actually very sad but peppered with “Eleanorisms” which lightens the load as details from the past are slowly revealed. I loved it. I loved how simple the storytelling was and I liked many, many of the characters both large and small. I am sitting here as I write this review, still pondering Eleanor’s story and that is definitely the sign of a great read. It has some sweet moments and really is a story about survival.

I highly recommend it. It would make for an excellent club read. I heard that Witherspoon bought the rights to it early on, to produce a movie down the line. I see no updates on a movie being in the works but I think if there is one, it will be very successful.

This was a book on my Summer Reading List so I am glad to finally check this one off my list and add it to my list of faves.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.