**3.5-stars rounded up**
I added The Disinvited Guest to my TBR just prior to its release knowing one thing, that it was set in Maine. Since that is my home state and the cover had such an ominous feel, I figured I should pick it up and give it a go.
When my library hold on an audiobook copy came through the morning I was leaving for a solo road trip to Maine, I figured it was serendipity and I should take advantage of it.
I downloaded this baby so fast, I left no room for second-guessing myself and I dove in. I didn’t even refresh my memory by reading the synopsis, although truth be told, I’m not sure I ever read the full thing to begin with.
Either way, I was surprised when I discovered that this story is based around a contagious virus situation where people are quarantining themselves away from the outside world.
This story takes place years after the 2020-pandemic and we follow Lucy Harper, who is still a bit traumatized from that time and actually has some lingering health effects.
Lucy’s husband, Reed, has a generational family home on an isolated island off the coast of Maine and the couple decide to head there to wait out this newest virus.
They plan to quarantine on the property with Reed’s sister and her girlfriend, Lucy’s best friend and her husband, as well as Reed’s best friend from childhood, who still lives in the area and helped provision the island for their stay.
What could possibly go wrong with this situation? It’s sounds fool proof…
Obviously, I am being sarcastic AF, because we all know all sorts of things are going to go wrong. Basically, anything that possibly can, will.
The island and property itself have a dark and murky past. Lucy, an author, is interested in that history and does a bit of poking about trying to learn more. She ends up finding an old diary of one of Reed’s ancestors and the Reader gets entire excerpts from that.
The historical aspect was something that I wasn’t expecting at all. While at times, I would have preferred to have been in the present, particularly towards the beginning, I ended up really enjoying it.
I also liked how the tension climbed in the present the longer they were stuck on the island. It was such a difficult situation and with no way out, people were definitely on edge with one another.
Additionally intriguing to me, was that Lucy’s perspective started to feel like she was losing her grip on reality a bit. She became so immersed in the diary that sometimes it became hard to decipher past from present.
Was the island haunting her, or was it just a by-product of her environment; of being so isolated?
This was my first Carol Goodman book. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I got her number now. This got wild. I’m talking really wild as it was building to the climax.
I’ll be honest, I found The Disinvited Guest to be sort of ridiculous, but luckily, it was also a ridiculously entertaining road trip audiobook!!
I was shouting things at the characters, providing my own running stream of commentary. I must have looked completely unhinged driving down the highway.
It was fun. I enjoyed it. It kept me entertained for my entire drive to Maine and I’m thankful for that.
It was a long drive. I would definitely be interested in checking out more of Goodman’s work! If you’ve got recommendations, drop them below…