The Guest by Emma Cline [Book Review]

The Guest by Emma Cline follows Alex, a young twenty-something who will use and abuse anyone to survive. Read my review.

I rarely read a book about virtually nothing and still find myself flipping page after page, but that’s exactly what happened when I read The Guest by Emma Cline.

What is the book about?

Summer is coming to a close on the East End of Long Island, and Alex is no longer welcome.

A misstep at a dinner party, and the older man she’s been staying with dismisses her with a ride to the train station and a ticket back to the city.

With few resources and a waterlogged phone, but gifted with an ability to navigate the desires of others, Alex stays on Long Island and drifts like a ghost through the hedged lanes, gated driveways, and sun-blasted dunes of a rarified world that is, at first, closed to her. Propelled by desperation and a mutable sense of morality, she spends the week leading up to Labor Day moving from one place to the next, a cipher leaving destruction in her wake. []

My thoughts…

The Guest follows Alex, a drifter who moves from house to house on the beaches of Long Island, as she tries to figure out what she intends to do with her life. She is fleeing an ex and has no job and nowhere to live. As she wanders from situation to situation, she encounters people who impact her life, good or bad.

Alex is a fascinating individual who thrives in the gray areas of life. She is lonely and must rely on the generosity of others to survive. Emma Cline’s portrayal of her delightfully flawed character feels authentic. She writes with staggering empathy, allowing Alex to remain likable despite her many bad decisions. The Guest is definitely a book I would recommend to others.