Instant New York Times Bestseller
Longlisted for Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence
" The Guest Book is monumental in a way that few novels dare attempt." -- The Washington Post
The thought-provoking new novel by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Blake
An exquisitely written, poignant family saga that illuminates the great divide, the gulf that separates the rich and poor, black and white, Protestant and Jew. Spanning three generations, The Guest Book deftly examines the life and legacy of one unforgettable family as they navigate the evolving social and political landscape from Crockett's Island, their family retreat off the coast of Maine. Blake masterfully lays bare the memories and mistakes each generation makes while coming to terms with what it means to inherit the past.
"One of those families who used to run the world... WASPs. That's how a man describes the Miltons as he admires the grand wreck of their Maine island estate in a brief, shivery foreshadowing. Blake's breathtaking saga then begins in full with a lush, sweeping overture, though it carries its own kind of chilling undertow. Think Gershwin, Copeland, Ellington. It's 1935, spring has suddenly turned Manhattan verdant and promising, and Kitty Milton, 30 and privileged, can't help but quietly revel in her splendid good fortune. Blake sets out the silver of Kitty and her husband's blue-blood pedigrees and Ogden's accomplishments running the family bank. But intercut with Kitty's satisfaction with her perfectly ordered life are scenes of shocking loss and Ogden's business deals in Germany, which lay the foundation for long-concealed family traumas. As in her best-selling The Postmistress (2010), Blake saturates each scene with sensuous and emotional vibrancy while astutely illuminating sensitive moral quandaries. Tacking between the present, in which Kitty and Ogden's grandchildren may not be able to hold onto the Island, which defines their legacy, and the fateful summer of 1959, when the Milton kingdom is infiltrated, thanks to the younger generation, by two inquisitive men, one Jewish, the other African American, Blake deftly interrogates the many shades of prejudice and the ordinary, everyday wickedness of turning away. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Blake's brilliant and ravishing novel promises to hit big, inspiring extensive publicity.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Blake (The Postmistress) tells the history of the privileged Milton family from 1935 to present day in this powerful family saga. In 1935 New York, Kitty Milton, wife of Ogden, is enjoying the life of a New York society wife with her three children-five-year-old Neddy, three-year-old Moss, and one-year-old Joan-when Neddy dies in an accident. To help his wife heal, Ogden buys Crockett's Island off the coast of Maine, and through the decades, the island becomes the Miltons' summer refuge. In 1959, Moss is working in his father's investment bank and invites his Jewish friend Len Levy, a fellow employee at the firm, and Reg Pauling, a black man and friend of Moss and Len, to visit the island. Len and Joan have been secretly dating, but Len isn't certain if Joan will acknowledge their relationship in front of her family. The tensions of Len and Reg's visit result in an argument that brings family secrets to light and ends in drama that will haunt those present for years to come. And in the present-day, as Milton family members must decide what to do with their island inheritance, they discover some answers to their family's past. Blake has a particular knack for dialogue; she knows exactly how to reveal the hidden depths of the characters both through what is said and what is unsaid. The result is potent and mesmerizing. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved