15 October 2015

The Guest Room; Chris Bohjalian

The Guest Room: A NovelThe Guest Room: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading this, I kept thinking of Bonfire of the Vanities. The world Richard Chapman has constructed is destroyed in one evening, much like Sherman McCoy's does. And like that earlier book, we have three main voices: Richard, wife Kristin and Alexandra, the stripper hired for Richard brother's bachelor party. That last voice is the most difficult one to read as we hear her tale of life in Yerevan dancing, then being stolen and turned into a prostitute. Richard's voice vacillates from being angry to defensive and never quite becomes sympathetic; Kristen's is the most human of the narrators, the one we hope will have the happy ending - one she can live with, not necessarily the one we think is "happy". Ultimately what lost this book a star was the unsurprising ending. After Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, I'd hoped for something a little more.

ARC provided by publisher.

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