The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

The Guest Room

By Chris Bohjalian

  • Release Date: 2016-01-05
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
4
From 257 Ratings
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Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls comes the spellbinding tale of a party gone horribly wrong: two men lie dead in a suburban living room, two women are on the run from police, and a marriage is ripping apart at the seams.

When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother’s bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.

In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard’s life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard’s investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers.

Reviews

  • Boring and trite

    2
    By NYCJenster
    This is so dePressing, not a thriller, and slow to unwind.
  • The guest Room

    2
    By Lulu8576
    Very shallow. Knew where this was headed very early in the book.
  • A riveting story that brings human trafficking to light.

    5
    By Pattycakes1964
    It's only been a few years since human (sex) trafficking has started to be addressed in America. This page turner of a novel, wrapped around the normalcy of a bachelor party, has layer after layer of intrigue. You'll enjoy this book immensely and the further you get in, the less likely you'll be able to stop reading! And when you're done? Tell your friends, especially those with teenage daughters, to read it, too. It's that important.
  • An inside look into marriage, human-trafficking, and human foibles

    5
    By Isisunit
    I would like to thank Doubleday Books & NetGalley for giving me a copy of this e-ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. Goodreads Teaser: "From the New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls comes the spellbinding tale of a party gone horribly wrong: two men lie dead in a suburban living room, two women are on the run from police, and a marriage is ripping apart at the seams. When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother’s bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night. In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard’s life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard’s investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers." Once again Mr. Bohjalian knocks it out of the park. His most recent book is an incredible blend of horror, heartbreak, and redemption. His prose sings like a Stradivarius when played by a virtuoso, bringing you so deep into the story that you lose track of where you end and the story begins. Tackling themes of sex trafficking, infidelity, and murder should look difficult, yet it is crystal clear that Bohjalian is in his comfort zone even with issues as challenging as these. He deftly managed to craft a story that could easily have gone over into the realm of sensationalism, or voyeurism, yet in his skilled hands retained balance, and a real sense of humanity. Richard Chapman should be reviled according to those outside of the events of that fatal evening. Even his own wife no longer knows what to believe. Yet throughout the story he remains true to his character, even during moments of inner dialogue. Watching as he tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered life is riveting, which is a testament to Bohjalian's skill, since Richard's story is up against the sensational story of a young, beautiful sex slave. Somehow the arc of this story, the very pacing, is near perfect. Everything seems to unfurl at just the right time and place, nothing feeling remotely forced to fit where it shouldn't. Alexandra shares her history as the current debacle unfolds around everyone, bouncing between the past and present. Through her we learn of the many intimate horrors visited upon girls taken into the sex trade by force. The very dispassion with which she shares her story serves to underscore the terror these girls live in. Without ever preaching Bohjalian manages to make this a lesson into the realities of the human sex trade couched in a fictional story, leaving it palatable for readers while educating them nonetheless. It is going to be a tough act for him to follow, and I eagerly look forward to what amazing story he next elects to share with us.

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