Author: B.A. Paris
Narrator: Emily Joyce
To Be Published: February 20, 2024
Audiobook: 8 hours 14 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: January 4-9, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
Some secrets never leave.
Iris and Gabriel seem to have it all: a beautiful home in the British countryside, a daughter happily working in Greece, and good friends Laure and Pierre from Paris, who they often vacation with. But when a young man has a tragic accident in a nearby quarry, Gabriel is the one to find him and hear his final words, leaving Gabriel with a guilty burden.
As Iris tries to help ease her husband’s trauma, they acquire an unexpected house guest. Laure has seemingly moved in after her husband’s revelation that he has had a child with another woman. Iris and Gabriel insist Laure stay as long as she needs. But Laure keeps wearing Iris’s clothes, following her every move, and asking her about the recent death of the young man.
Their only respite from the increasingly tense atmosphere in their own home comes from a couple new to town and expecting their first child. But with them comes their gardener, who has a checkered past.
With fractured relationships and secrets piling up around them, can Iris and Gabriel’s marriage survive?
I have enjoyed B.A. Paris’ novels and hers will be ones I will pick up, but her last few have been less than enjoyable for me. I have also listened to those in audiobook format, so at this point I think her books I need to actually read versus listen to get everything I need to from the book and full enjoyment. This is no fault of the narrator, It just seems that Paris’ books I need to read.
The Guest is her newest novel coming out on February 20th, 2024. It is an extremely slow burn that shows how secrets and lies can affect everything and everyone. I did have trouble keeping the characters straight, even though it is not a huge cast of characters. I was totally engrossed in the story with the death and final words of one character given to another who decides to keep them secret from the mother. The rest I was not interested in. Once the body count started around 55% in is when the story got moving for me. There was so much buildup, but it was needed!
The chapters are short, but then when the novel is over we have the epilogue and that was almost an hour long! And there is where the ending of the novel comes together in an unexpected way, so I gave an extra half star to my rating for it.
I will have to try and read a physical copy of The Guest at some point because I know I missed so much with the audiobook in this case. I might even enjoy it better that second time around. Any future B.A. Paris books will be read!
Many thanks to the publisher Macmillan Audio for granting me an alc!