The Guest

Oh my. This book was very polarizing according to my DMs. Half of you loved it, half of you hated it. This is one of those books you keep thinking about well after it’s finished. I read an article saying that people in the Hamptons are freaking out about this book, which makes sense as that is where it is set. And I kind of think you have to have spent considerable time out there to appreciate how well Emma Cline captured it (in a beautifully written, satirical sense). Alex is twenty two years old and after a relatively minor mistake at a party, has been dismissed by her (much older, mid fifties) “boyfriend” Simon and sent to the train station. The thing is, she is in trouble back in the city and doesn’t have anywhere to go. So she spends a week grifting along. Crashing on the beach, at parties, wherever she can. Her phone is dead, everything she owns is on her back. I was conflicted in that nothing really happens but it’s kind of perfect? I did not love the ending but also can’t think how to better end it. I think what I liked most about it was how well Cline captures Hamptons-esque archetypes. The wealthy middle aged man with the fragile ego, the young girl drifting along, the transactional nature of some relationships… she captured it so well that you almost cringe a little bit as you’ve met these people.

Author: Emma Cline