I read Lucy Foley's first novel, The Hunting Party* (review here) roughly around this time last year and loved it. When I heard about The Guest List I was excited but unsure how it could possibly be better than her first. Spoiler, it was.
I read most of it in a frenzy over two days desperate not only to find out who had died but also who had done it. That's one of my favourite things about Lucy's books. Not only is there the mystery of the killer but you're also not told who the victim is until the very end. I spent so long guessing who could be what. There were plenty of motives for murder in this story, and it was supposed to be a wedding!
Similar to THP Lucy Foley places her characters in a secluded setting and dredges up their old memories that in most cases would have been better off being buried. In The Guest List, we are watching the wedding of Jules and Will on a remote Irish island. Their closest friends and family are all ready for a day of utter luxury. Then there's a murder.
When I talk to people about this book and also THP I find myself rambling on about how wonderful it truly is. Not just because there's a really good mystery involved but because of how Lucy Foley really delves into complex the relationships between her characters, how they influence other relationships and affect that person in general. It's a study in the art of being human, wanting to be loved and wanting to make people proud. So much so that it can blind you to faults and issues.
Whilst the links between a certain character and others were masterfully weaved in it felt a little unrealistic that this person was the cause of so many other's misfortunes. Then again he's a right shit so who am I to say that he didn't do those things? Yep, I take it back. Masterfully woven and he was a shit to all he met and didn't meet.
A would advise going into the novel prepared for a lot of triggering topics. Suicide, self-harm, death, absentee parents and weight among the most talked about. There are a few instances of explicit self-harm as well which I wish had been more discussed.
Overall a truly fantastic novel. I can't wait for the next one.
Name: The Guest List
Author(s): Lucy Foley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Have you read The Guest List?
What did you think?
Thank-you for reading,