“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?”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
The Guest List was my Book of the Month pick for November. I don’t normally go for books about weddings so I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like this one, but I chose it because the synopsis sounded interesting and I wanted to read a mystery. This book completely blew me away with how intriguing and fast-paced it was! The story is very much character-driven and I was sucked into it from the very first page as two of the guests arrive by boat at the island, the day before the wedding.
The story is told through rotating perspectives of the bride, (Jules) the bridesmaid, (Olivia), the plus-one (Hannah), the best man (Johnno) and the wedding planner (Aiofe). Through each of their chapters we learn about the other characters including the groom, the wedding party’s families, and how they are all connected to their guests. Their pasts are more intertwined than you can even begin to guess, but the details were dished out slowly and methodically.
I knew very little about this book going into it, and I think that played a huge part in how much I enjoyed it. With that being said, I don’t want to reveal too much about it. The ending was so satisfying and I was still contemplating the story days after finishing it.
Goodreads rating: Five stars