The weekend has just flown by and now it’s Monday again. Time seems to fly when I’m having fun and particularly when I’m reading, both of which I was able to do this weekend. I’ve been taking my time with a recent read because it’s quite chunky and I enjoy a good family drama from time to time. I just finished it and have attempted to order my thoughts while much of it is still fresh in my mind. This book is called The Guest Book by Sarah Blake and it took me on quite the adventure. I have done my best not to talk about any spoilers because it was just released this past Tuesday and I try not to give things away about books!
I would like to mention that I was generously sent an ARC from the publisher Flatiron Books though it doesn’t in any way influence my thoughts or opinions. So without further ado, I present to you my thoughts.
The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
Barnes and Noble
This book was amazing, mysterious, heartbreaking and full of surprises. It’s a saga that spans close to one hundred years that centers around a family called the Miltons that were well off in terms of money up until the 1970s and how they would come together every summer to the island that they owned until the 1980s. Ogden and Kitty Milton bought the island in the 1920s after a tragic accident in which Ogden worried that he may lose his wife due to the circumstances. He brings her to the island in the hope that it will help them to have a fresh start with their young kids and in a way it does become a big help but also eventually becomes a place full of painful memories. It is told in multiple perspectives from family members as well as those who aren’t family but each play an interesting part in the story over the span of three generations with the perspectives often jumping back and forth from the various generations.
There are also many secrets that are kept including the death of a child that will always leave a scar, two sisters become at odds with each other particularly in their later years and eventually the grandchildren of Kitty and Ogden will have to make the decision on whether to sell the place in the hopes of being able to walk away with a bit of money or continue to attempt to keep the island going once the trust fund put in place by Ogden runs out.
There are also snapshots shown of just how stubborn people wanted to remain to things not changing in the 1930s to the mid 1950s and just how rampant racism was attempted to be pushed under the rug particularly with the Jewish community and Blacks around the circles of those with money and who were raised to always try to keep the peace. Soon it’s realized that change will happen and they could choose to either stand up and acknowledge it or be swept along in the tide. Then tragedy strikes again to the family that will haunt the first and second generation of Miltons for many years to come.
I don’t know if I can fully accurately describe this amazing book which really pulled at my heartstrings and I was often shaking my head at some of the blindness that people chose to hide behind but it was such a fascinating tale that I found myself eagerly wanting to know what would happen next.
My heart hurt for the tragic accident that happened in the beginning, also for the terrible amounts of racism that many have had to suffer over the years and for the secrets that remained for many years.
I highly recommend reading this book because it was full of a lot of interesting points, so very many fascinating aspects of a family as time went on and just how harmful some secrets can be. I’m glad though that much of the truth was revealed in the end and that there was some peace to come of it. I can’t wait to read more by this author who really has a way with words and drawing me right in!
So that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I hope my thoughts have made some sense and I’m just bowled over with emotions over all that happened in the book and how much secrets can have an affect on families. Well I am off to do more reading and hope you had a wonderful weekend!
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