The Guest List - Lucy Foley
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. Old friends. Past grudges. Happy families. Hidden jealousies. Thirteen guests. One body. The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped. All have a secret. All have a motive. One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .
I really needed a book that was going to grip me and keep my attention. So I went through my list of books that I had to read, and this sounded the most likely. Additionally, I’d heard so many rave things about her previous book ‘The Hunting Party’ I thought I couldn’t go wrong. Famous last words, hey, this certainly was not gripping. It was slow going. Hard to get to grips with. Lots of characters to get to know and just not intriguing enough. I had a lot going on in my personal life whilst reading this, hence the need for a book that would really attract me and draw me in. A book that would take my mind off everything else and allow me to completely emerge myself in a fantasy world for a few hours and leave my problems aside. This did not do that and is probably the longest I have taken to read a book in over two years as I just couldn’t focus on it at all. The characters were unlikeable for a start; they didn’t give us anything to feel invested in. I couldn’t understand why Jules was marrying Will. There didn’t seem to be an attraction between the two. It just seemed to be a ‘good on paper’ type situation, but in this case, it wasn’t. Charlie was winding me up with how he was treating his wife, there was just no need for it, and as for the ushers, don’t even get me started. I know they weren’t supposed to be likeable, but they went beyond that. I expected more from the ‘Now’ chapters that were supposed to pique our interest, as well. They were very sparse and very few and far between. We had to wait many chapters before we would return to the ‘Now’ to be given just a page of the ushers wandering around aimlessly and nothing much having progressed to keep us wanting to move forward to reach the next ‘Now’ section. Why they had to wander so far when the waitress can’t have come that far from her ordeal is beyond me. It all seemed very confusing and drama for the sake of drama to me. It did all come together quite well at the end, and once everything had been made clear, it had been kept very well under wraps. So the ending was worth persevering for, but I’m not sure I will be reading any more of this author’s books. I don’t think it was just the frame of mind I was in as I’ve read a few books since (in the same state of anxiety that I am in at the moment) and I’ve been fine, a little slower than usual but not as bad as this one.