Book Review: The Guest List

The Guest List: A Novel
author: Lucy Foley
genre: Mystery/Thriller
release date: June 2, 2020
format with page count: Hardcover - 330 pages

from Goodreads --
The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

An extravagant wedding set on a remote island, an array of unique characters, and the shocking discovery of a body…The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a page-turner you won’t soon forget. This is a story told from multiple points of view and while that format can be confusing, this novel flows effortlessly from one character to the next. 

The bride, Jules, is not immensely likable although her attention to detail and demand for perfection form the bones of the plot. As the publisher of a successful magazine and one who is marrying a popular reality television star, Jules takes full advantage of opportunities to promote and plan the perfect event. The guest list is carefully created, the prewedding events are social events to be envied, and the wedding itself is an outrageous display of wealth and luxury. Nothing is left to chance.

The groom, Will, with his good looks and easy charm, fully supports his bride-to-be but is much more relaxed and inviting. He seems to be more interested in having a good time with his old friends and other guests than focusing on each tiny detail. While seemingly superficial, he is a man of many secrets.

The other cast of characters are central to rounding out the sequence of events that move things along at a breathtaking clip. Hannah, the “plus one", is the wife of Jules' best friend Charlie. She is a bit insecure but very relatable. She’s the everyday woman to Jules’ glamour queen image. Johnno, the best man, is like that friend who never quite outgrew adolescence. He's somewhat suspicious and seems to be the one who will always make a bumbling mistake, while Olivia, the bridesmaid, is a young woman with a troubled past. She is Jules’ stepsister and the two couldn’t be more different. Each of the remaining characters, whether it is Jules’ divorced parents, the wedding planner, or any of the other guests, play key parts in what sets up to be the perfect mystery.

I do not want to give anything away, but the best parts of this book are all the unexpected twists that come when you least expect them. There’s a dead body. There are incredible connections between people and events. There’s a hero and an unpredictable villain. It seems like there are too many characters to keep straight, but between the way the chapters are put together and the fast-paced action, this is a book to get lost in. It’s definitely one I look forward to reading again. I can’t wait to catch all the subtle hints I missed the first time around.

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