REVIEW: THE GUEST ROOM, BY CHRIS BOHJALIAN

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Richard Chapman’s world looks great to the outsider. He is an investment banker, his wife Kristin is a teacher, and their nine-year-old daughter Melissa seems happy and well-adjusted. Living the good life in an upscale Long Island community, one could almost nod off at the normalcy of it all.

But one moment’s series of bad choices can upend everything about this life.

Against his better judgment, Richard agrees to host a bachelor party in his home for his younger brother Philip. An amoral, immature, and self-absorbed thirty-five-year old, Philip could almost be the anti-Richard. So why would Richard agree?

When everything turns wrong on the night of the party, Richard will have a lot of time to ponder this choice and wonder why, too. Disaster strikes, followed by murder, police, and horrific consequences for Richard, as well as for his marriage. But there is no going back.

I felt so sad for the girls, like Alexandra, one of the narrators. How victimized they were, and how trapped they felt. I also felt sorry for Richard, who made a bad choice that would irrevocably alter his life. I hated Philip, and one of his horrible friends, Spencer, who tried to take advantage of the situation for his own gain.

The Guest Room, narrated from multiple perspectives, including the viewpoint of one of the “strippers,” held my interest throughout. Themes of sex slavery, marital devastation, and unexpected consequences render this book a page turner and an unforgettable read. 5 stars.

***I received my copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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8 thoughts on “REVIEW: THE GUEST ROOM, BY CHRIS BOHJALIAN

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