.

.

October 2, 2016

The Guest Room


The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
Fiction
2016 Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Read by Mozhan Marno and Grace Experience
Finished on April 25, 2016
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls comes the spellbinding tale of a party gone horribly wrong: two men lie dead in a suburban living room, two women are on the run from police, and a marriage is ripping apart at the seams.

When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother's bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.

In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard's life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard's investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers.

Chris Bohjalian's is one of those hit-or-miss authors, at least for me. I tend to enjoy his contemporary works better than his historical fiction and I'm happy to report that this one lived up to my expectations and didn't disappoint. In some ways, it reminded me of Jodi Picoult's novels, which almost always focuses on a current social issue. This particular novel deals with sex trafficking, which at times was pretty disturbing (and the language is not for those easily offended). I thought the plot was somewhat predictable, although the ending was not at all what I was expecting, so maybe not as predictable as I thought! 

Final Thoughts:

This is the first book I've read by Bohjalian in several years and I'm glad I didn't give up on him after a couple of disappointing reads. The Guest Room is a very compelling page turner and would make for a great book club selection. There's a lot to discuss in this one! Recommend with a cautionary note about the language.

8 comments:

  1. I haven't read him in ages either and keep meaning to. Glad this one is good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read a lot of his books, but have The Double Bind in my stacks. I'll give it a try in 2017.

      Delete
  2. I felt pretty much the same way about this book. I did enjoy Marno's narration more than Experience's but thought it was a great audio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, it was a great audio, wasn't it?! Perfect amount of tension to keep me wanting to listen at every free moment.

      Delete
  3. I enjoyed this as well and am looking forward to his new Jan 2017 book as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, I didn't realize he has a new book coming out in January. I'll have to keep my eyes out for it!

      Delete
  4. Great review! I got this one from a library visit but just haven't gotten to it yet. Oh I hope I can read it before I have to return it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iliana, thanks! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

      Delete

I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!