Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Last edited on May 11, 2021 by Miriam Pereira

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. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Book Review

As a now constant reader of mysteries, The Guest List peaked my interest when I saw that it had won the Goodreads choice awards last year. This was compared to And Then There Were None so, I had to give it a shot.

To be quite frank, this book should be called the The Wedding Day That Never Happened. Though, all jokes aside, this book was very, very, slow and only at the 80% mark did it begin to pick up. And while I understand what the author was trying to do, the book still could have been shorter.

I’ve seen people talk highly about Lucy Foley’s settings and world-building and I couldn’t agree more. The whole Ireland setting was very detailed and unique. I’ve read many books that take place in New York but never in Ireland. For lack of better word, the story was suspenseful and intricate. I do appreciate that because the author allowed the story to fall on the longer side, she added more details and developed the plot.

For the most part, The Guest List is well-written and is definitely better than most of its genre. I’d prefer a mystery over a thriller any time though. All the characters in The Guest List were well fleshed out and complex. Though I cannot fathom why it took so long for the story to pick up. I guess you win and you lose some. As for the Foley’s writing style, it was modern and what was to be expected from a mystery that came out last year. I would say that even someone who isn’t a native English speaker can understand the majority of the story. In summary, The Guest List was a fast-paced, easy to interpret mystery that lacked proper pacing.


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