Book Review: The Guest List

May 15, 2020 in Reviews - boundbythebook
Calli the Curious

Book Details

  • Author: Lucy Foley
  • Formats: Hardcover Paperback, eBook, 320 pages
  • Published: June 2, 2020
  • Publisher: William Morrow


The moment this book got into my hands (thanks @bookofthemonth for the killer picks, including this early release), I could NOT put it down. I’m not normally one to finish a book in one or even two sittings, I prefer to take my time, to envelop myself in it but truth be told this book was practically glued to my hands and I was okay with that.

The story is told in multiple viewpoints (5 to be exact—the bride to be, the MOH, the best man, the plus one, and the wedding planner). Foley executed this aspect of the book perfectly. It made for quick chapters, continuous internal speculation for the reader, and multiple perspectives of the same unfolding events. As we delve beyond the early chapters, we begin to uncover the motives of all five main characters. It’s fairly event what their motives are as the bride-to-be and groom seem to have it all, but what the reader is left to deduce is WHO will be pushed beyond to act on it?

I loved the development of her characters. They felt very human. Raw. Real. Our characters all have their secrets, some struggling to reconcile them. The only thing that fell flat for me was feeling as though the book just ends. I personally wanted to know how this event impacted their lives afterward. I feel I should also note that some plot twists are easy to figure out. However, there are many unexpected twists that will have you gasping. Maybe even in tears. Or both.

A backwards “whodunit” reminiscent of Lord of the Flies and Clue.


The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

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?

(Disclaimer: This review is not affiliated with any businesses nor their affiliates. These words are unpaid and my own.) Synopsis courtesy of GoodReads.

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Jaime's bookshelf: read

The Mother-in-Law
Feels Like Falling
You and Me and Us
In Five Years
First Cut
The Safe Place
The Guest List
A Conspiracy of Bones
The Tenant
Daisy Jones & The Six
Lying in Wait and Other True Cases
You Are Not Alone
American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century
The Sun Down Motel
Morgue: A Life in Death
Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist
Blood On the Table: The Greatest Cases of New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
A History of Modern Psychology
Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner

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