The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

A good friend of mine recently pointed out that all I ever read are the newest novels. He said that I’m always looking on the bestseller list for new books to read and review about. And he’s right. I like to read whatever is most current, not only because I find that most of the novels are to my taste but also because I want to write about novels that are currently making it big. Don’t get me wrong, I will read ANY novel that I find interesting, but I enjoy reviewing novels that seem the most … relevant and “in”, and those usually tend to be bestsellers. But I have decided to start branching out more and reading novels that aren’t directly in the spotlight. However, this novel is DEFINITELY garnering attention and I was lucky enough to get my hand on a physical copy. Of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read and review it! So, here is my review:

When Richard Chapman agrees to host his brother’s bachelor party at his home, he doesn’t expect it to be anything crazy. Richard’s wife, Kristin, and daughter are spending the weekend with his mother-in-law, and everything should be back to normal by the time they arrive home. What wasn’t expected was that the night of drunkenness and revelry would lead to Richard sharing an intimate moment  with the hired entertainment and the stabbing of two Russian bodyguards by two women, who then flee into the night. Suddenly, life is all out of control. The police are crawling all over the home, which is now a crime scene; Richard’s investment firm puts him on indefinite leave; and Kristin is unsure about whether this marriage can still work or not. But the women from the party face a more imminent danger as they run from the police they believe will imprison them, and the gangsters who they know will kill them.

This novel gave a jarring glimpse into the world of sex trafficking as it followed the story of Alexandra and her journey from Moscow to America. It was powerful in the way that it reflected the lives of all of those who were involved in this event. Every voice had something unique to contribute, and they allowed one to glimpse the different experiences a person could have to an unthinkable situation like this. My heart ached for Alexandra, felt sympathy for Kristin, and had hatred for a bunch of other people who I won’t name because then it would ruin the novel. I definitely wasn’t expecting the conclusion to be the way it was but it worked and I can understand why the author wanted to write it this way. This is my first time reading something by Chris Bohjalian and I really enjoyed the intensity of his writing. I am definitely going to be adding more of his works to my to-read list. If you like thrillers and shocking crimes, then this novel is for you..you will NOT be able to put it down!

Happy reading ~

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