Wednesday, January 20, 2021

REVIEW: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous



The Perfect Guests was not perfect but it was a nice break from what I normally read. The alternating perspectives between characters and time periods nicely built into a culminating reveal in which all the answers to the mysteries of Beth and Sadie and their relationship to Raven Hall and the Averells were explained. And while nothing was SHOCKING! I did find the way all of the pieces fit together very interesting. I think what was lacking for me was a true exploration of why this place was *the thing* that motivated some decisions--I just didn't feel that connection between house and person as a deep and abiding reason for many actions and therefore while I thought it was an interesting idea, it just didn't hit me like the slap in the face that I like when I'm reading psychological fiction. Instead, I found myself feeling sorrow for some characters and head-tilting, I don't get it, with others. Overall, though, it was something different for me and I'm always up for that.


The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel—about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she's truly part of the family...until they ask her to help them with a harmless game—and nothing is ever the same.

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It's strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she'll be staying at, she figures she’s got nothing to lose. 

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she'd imagined—even with damage from a fire decades before—but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there’s something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone...including her.

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