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?From Goodreads
TLDR; A dark, possibly triggering murder mystery
A successful engaged couple plans an exclusive event in a remote location on an island off the coast of Ireland. The setting is scenic and the mood starts off buoyant in anticipation of the coming wedding, even if it feels rushed. The future bride and groom haven’t spent much time together before committing, but the incredibly romantic fire in their hearts tells them it’s “right.” From there Lucy Foley introduces layer upon layer of characters with complex backstories. By the time we hit the pivotal event about 4/5ths through the book so many motives have stacked up it’s difficult to know who committed the murder. A classic who-done-it, and I actually didn’t have a clue who committed the crime until the big reveal.
Overall I enjoyed this book, but it was much darker than I expected. The number of potential trigger warnings was not insignificant. (See full list here – https://booktriggerwarnings.com/index.php?title=The_Guest_List_by_Lucy_Foley). Of that list the ones that personally bothered me most were ‘boys club’ atmosphere of peer pressure and bullying by a group of the men, as well as the cutting/anorexia by another character. To me these lent a sour tinge to the story that was a bit unpleasant. I can understand Foley may have been going for a realistic representation of the struggles in well-to-do families like this, but if I’d known beforehand this content was in the book I probably would have avoided it. Aside from that I did really enjoy this book! If those topics and the ones in the list dont bother you, I’d recommend this as a solid murder mystery read.