The Guest Book
The Guest Book follows three generations of a powerful American family, a family that “used to run the world”.
And when the novel begins in 1935, they stil ...more
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Format: Print book
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Availability: 20 copies available, 3891 people requesting
Giveaway dates: May 11 - May 25, 2019
Countries available: U.S.
An Epic multi-generational family saga exposing long buried secrets and truths- not only providing a mirrored reflection of the privileged Milton’s, but of the entire country as well…
“There is the crime and there is silence”
In the mid-thirties, golden couple Ogden and Kitty Milton, recovering from a horrific tragedy, purchase Crockett Island, making it a point of renewal. They will ‘summer’ there every year of their lives, ther ...more
And history would ...more
The Guest Book is a sweeping tale of three generations of the Milton family. This book moves back and forth in time, showcasing secrets and consequences. This book showcases old money, racism, glamour, status, opulence, limelight, privilege, power, choices, inequality, and the economic divide. Each generation showcases the mindset of not only the family but society at large. With each new generation comes acceptance, awareness, growth and change. But is it eno ...more
Such a tragedy might shatter other families, but the Miltons are not other families. Ogden and Kitty Milton are the union of America’s bluest bloodlines, aristocrats who have provided a model of decor ...more
In the beginning of the story, it’s 1935. Kitty and Ogden Milton have all the best in life: adorable children, beautiful appearances, and the perfect relationship with each other. A tragedy happens, and Ogden attempts to soothe Kitty by buying an island for her in Maine.
That house holds such importance for the family in the present and the future. It’s also where Kitty proc ...more
Thank you to Flatiron Books for generously mailing me an advance readers' edition of Sarah Blake's The Guest Book. In exchange, I agreed to share my honest thoughts on goodreads and my other favorite social media sites.
Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? Please note that there will be some low-key spoilers thro ...more
Thoughts-provoking, powerful, and elegant.
“The Guest Book” is a family saga spread over three generations of the Milton family written in an exquisite style. I was truly captivated by the extraordinary writing style of Sarah Blake and I could not get enough of the beautiful descriptions and well-developed characters.
To fully enjoy this book I had to read it slowly and with my full attention on it. I tried to savor each sentence and immerse myself in the stunning landscape of t ...more
It is about the culpability of silence and the family secrets of the Milton family, how wealth and privilege control the gates of power, and th ...more
I started this book and stopped at page 77 to go to another book temporarily. I decided not to go back and finish it because it was so slow.
I tried to read her other book The Postmistress a few years back and couldn't finish that one too. That should have told me something. I think it's the style of her writing that I can't understand.
Wow. Just wow. By the final page, I myself felt entrenched in the Milton family saga. I was often reminded of the famous words of Elie Wiesel, "The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference." The Milton family and their descentents suffered for their indifference, believing change possible through inaction.
Are we responsible for the sins of our parents? Our grandparents? Can we truly make the world a better place while still hol ...more
I have such mixed feelings about this book so I think I'm going to need to break it down in pieces to sort through my emotions.
1. The Writing. A freaking plus! 5 stars! Sarah Blake is an extraordinary talent when it comes to her writing style. Her work kind of reminds me of the great classics in that it's so elegantly executed with sweeping, graceful prose. She truly captured the scenery and the essence of the island and made me feel like I was right ther ...more
From a review found on Bo ...more
Sarah Blake deftly handles three generations (with similar or repeating names) & their interconnected family story with skill. The plot is rich & emotional with characters you feel connected to & that is so important because it is not a quick read. This book took some time for me to process & that's not a bad thing. I think that most people have had to confront a family secret or legacy that isn' ...more
Sarah Blake achieves a marvelous thing with this book: She kept me reading despite a deep loathing for her "modern-day" main character. The characters are well-written, the story compelling, but the element that would have taken this from 3-stars to 4-stars--a really frank examination of the white-monied class and the havoc they wreak--is missing. I left the the novel feeling that I should feel sorry for the monied class, because they are humans like anyone els ...more
The Guest Book is a novel that though written well addresses a very painful time and while the author attempts to address the issues she does so by utilizing characters who simply erase themselves from the action while finding peace in their pain which does nothing to absolve the wrongs placed upon them.
Families in turmoil. Cultural genocide. Racial inequality. White privilege. The Great Depression.
Dare to note the Milton's seemed to have it all in fact so much ...more
Full disclosure: I do not usually read historical literary fiction. My reader style usually falls into the science fiction and fantasy category. Literary fiction make me feel locked in - like there are more worlds out there to explore.
Blake does a great job expanding on the things about literary fiction that make me feel trapped. Her characters were new and well-developed. They came aliv ...more
The jobs had been won, the beds made, the dishes washed, the children sprouted. The wheel had stopped, and now what? Where, for instance, was the story of a middle-aged orphan with the gray streak in her hair, the historian who had rustled thirteenth-century women's lives out of fugitive pages, who believed more than most that there was no such thing as the certainty of a plot in the story of a life, in fact who taught this to students year in and year our, and yet who found herself lately longing, above all else for just that? Longing, against reason, for some kind of clear direction, for the promise of a pattern. For this relief--she pulled against the shoulder strap of her satchel--the unbearable relief of an omniscient narrator.
Adolescence, she reflected, pushing open the classroom door with a kind of savage glee, had nothing on this.”