Title: The Guest List
Author: Lucy Foley
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 42
(see below for breakdown)
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why
I think I choose the perfect time to read this book to make it extra spooky and spine chilling. This book accompanied me to a weekend away at a wedding in an old priory, on the banks of a loch, on a wet and windy weekend in Scotland back in August. As my surroundings matched the setting of the book somewhat closely I think it made it extra spooky. Fortunately for me the Wedding I attended was a much more joyous affair than the one in the book.
This is told from multiple perspectives all of which are distinctly different and it makes the story much more impactful. We get little glimpses of what is to come from an almost ominous narrator but the majority of the perspectives weave together a intricate and detailed history. I love how this builds the tension of who might die, when they might die, who kills them and why. There are multiple different outcomes this book could have had and all of them would be exciting and satisfying.
Foley just wove such a detailed and interesting story into each perspective and character that just keeps the pages turning. The whole construction of the plot, how we learn about the different people and the events of the weekend are just so perfectly times. The story unfurls in such at such a good pace, with lots of twists and reveals at perfect timing. The spooky and isolated setting just really bolsters the plot.
I think the combination of good writing and the timing of my reading made this a fantastically enjoyable read for me.