Set on an an island outside of Ireland, The Guest List is about a wedding where each person has a personal history with someone else and then, somebody dies.
This story is told in flash forwards, weaving in the future with the events of the present. We follow quite a few characters including Julie (the bride), Olivia (her sister and the bridesmaid), Hannah (the wife of Charlie, Julie’s best friend), Johnno (the best man), and Aoife (the owner of the hotel and the wedding planner). These perspectives guide us through the story and slowly unveil how each person is connected.
Julie is quite the unlikeable character, you feel sympathy for her in some ways, but I also feel that she is purposefully rude and cold to people close to her. Her relationship with Charlie is suspicious form the start and only becomes more suspicious as the story goes on. Hannah, the character most like the reader, is poised to be Julie’s opposite. She’s the one Charlie married and she lives a less glamorous lifestyle to Julie. Will, Julie’s soon-to-be husband, is a famous actor and also, unlikeable. It does make his relationship with Julie understandable. Aoife is quite the outsider to the group and so provides a third parter perspective that really rounds out the characters. Olivia has the most heartfelt, emotional storylines and is really the heart of the story. Johnno is also rather unlikeable at first being a hyper-masculine dude-bro with a bit more complicated history and personality that slowly becomes more noticeable as the story goes on.
I liked this story. While there are many moving parts and a lot of things to keep track of (whether on purpose to throw off the reader or just Lucy Foley’s style), I found myself able to understand where the story was going and how it was going to end up. I seem to be in the majority of guessing who was going to die, and being a little surprised about how it all went down. Overall, I’d say this is a fun thriller with a fantastic setting and would be a great read for this October/November spooky, eery vibe.