Just Read: “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley

Read June 2, 2020 – June 4, 2020

Lucy Foley has published a few novels since 2015 and appears to be quite the hit among contemporary readers. I hadn’t heard of her, probably because I was in graduate school from 2015-2018 and had my nose stuck so high in the air while reading critical literary texts. I don’t know why these types of novels don’t get addressed – there doesn’t always have to be obvious depth to create an analysis. I’m happy to be in a position now where I can choose literature that simply entertains; if I’d like to go on analyzing I can but for now, I think I want to let myself be entertained. Foley does just that!

What is it about? 

I thought it was about one thing and then it sort of turned out to be about something else entirely but it all fit together. This young couple is about to get married – queue the applause – and they choose to do so on this island off the coast of Ireland. There are two people that live on the island, along with many dead bodies. It’s sort of haunted and remote and you don’t really know what you’re nervous about but you’re sure something bad is going to happen. You find out pretty early on that something bad did happen and you’re reading various perspectives from main members of the wedding party leading up to the wedding day.

You know those memes that you see where it says, “Growing up I thought quicksand was going to be much more of a problem” and shows a picture from “The Neverending Story”? Well this island has its own sort of quicksand that adds to the suspense – the bog. The island has all of these weak points, under which is assumed to be dead bodies. It’s creepy and it’s gross and it does become a problem. There’s a lot going on because of the guest list – secrets from both the bride and grooms side – and you aren’t quite sure if they will be revealed and if so when. Everyone has something they’re hiding…

What does it have?

  • Wedding Drama
  • Haunted Island
  • Death
  • Revenge

I read this during a couple of very rainy days and it definitely set the mood for the novel. Once you get past the 60% mark, the novel starts to really pick up and the suspense builds. I had to put it down around that part because it was too dark and rainy and I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I continued reading. A line like, “I’ve learned by now that there are currents in this place that somehow find their way inside, despite closed doors and shut windows. They eddy and caper through the air, they kiss the back of your neck, they send a prickle down your spine, soft as the touch of fingertips,” made me realize it was time to pause or I’d be welcoming the nightmares (The Guest List).

Is it worth reading?

If you’re like me and enjoy a fun semi-spooky read this might be for you. It wasn’t as SCARY as I thought it might be but it definitely built up the suspense toward the end and I started getting angry with some of the characters and felt a little vengeful myself. If you’re planning a wedding or a celebration of some type, this book will definitely have you reconsider your guest list. You never know when someone holding your darkest secret might bust.

Let me know in the comments below if you found this review helpful! Feedback gives me an idea of what info you want to see in This Just Read posts 🙂

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