The Guest Book: A Novel

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On the surface, the Milton family are picture-perfect WASPS. Ogden Milton, the patriarch, made the family fortune through his investment firm. His wife, Kitty, is a hostess extraordinaire. Their daughters, Joan and Evelyn, are beautiful and charming, and their son, Moss, is the humble heir to the Milton throne. Their kingdom is Crockett’s Island, a private realm Ogden and Kitty purchased for a song when their children were young. There, they throw parties to which other good families journey by boat, and they build memories that shape not only their summers, but also the very fabric of their lives. Beneath the surface–of course–all is not so rosy. A family tragedy. Questionable alliances during World War II, and an unsavory origin to the family fortune. A child in danger, turned away at the door. Decorum, appearances, and silence have always been the Miltons’ code–until finally, generations later, the silence cracks.

The Miltons, like Crockett’s Island itself, are separated from the real world, able to see themselves only when the outside world finally crosses the rocky shore, and even then they’re unable to clearly understand their own personal shortcomings. The novel begins with a shattering tragedy that renders the rest–the glorious parties, the trappings of the Miltons’ world, the mores and expectations–almost absurd. Spanning three generations, The Guest Book chips away at the Miltons’ splendid veneer and their unsustainable idea of what constitutes a life well lived.


Reviewed By:

Author Sarah Blake
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 496 pages
Publisher Flatiron Books
Publish Date 2019-05-07
ISBN 9781250110251
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category Modern Literature
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