Monday, August 5, 2019

Macmillan audio review of The Guest Book by Sarah Blake narrated by Orlagh Cassidy

Things are slowly getting back to normal and I should have the blog up and running full time later this month but until then I have a few reviews ready to go.
Fingers Crossed X

Sarah Blake is an auto buy for my but when I agreed to review the Macmillan Audio I met another side to this fabulous author.

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Release Date: 5-7-2019

 Macmillan Audio for Review
Buy It: Audible



The thought-provoking new audiobook by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Blake

A lifetime of secrets. A history untold.

No. It is a simple word, uttered on a summer porch in 1936. And it will haunt Kitty Milton for the rest of her life. Kitty and her husband, Ogden, are both from families considered the backbone of the country. But this refusal will come to be Kitty’s defining moment, and its consequences will ripple through the Milton family for generations. For while they summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir.

In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists the times are changing. And in one night, everything does.

So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth.

Moving through three generations and back and forth in time, The Guest Book asks how we remember and what we choose to forget. It shows the untold secrets we inherit and pass on, unknowingly echoing our parents and grandparents. Sarah Blake’s triumphant novel tells the story of a family and a country that buries its past in quiet, until the present calls forth a reckoning.

Listen to a Sample courtesy Macmillan Audio


#1 Indie Next Pick for May
One of the Best Books of May: Entertainment Weekly, Refinery29, PopSugar, Bookish, BBC, Chicago Review of Books, Real Simple, Goodreads

“Thought-provoking and propulsive…Welcome to old money, new heartbreak, big secrets, and the kind of mouthwatering picnics nobody packs in real life (boiled eggs, tin of sandwiches, bottles of gin). But the North Star of Sarah Blake’s The Guest Book isn’t the Milton family—although they are fascinating, even the ghosts—it’s the Maine island cottage where they spend their summers.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Beautifully crafted....The Milton family history, rife with secrets and moral failings, including a deep-seated bigotry, is a timely tale of America itself. An enveloping and moving page-turner.” —People, Book of the Week

“Sarah Blake writes in the historical fiction tradition of someone like Herman Wouk…[She] is an accomplished storyteller, braiding in a large cast of characters and colorful excursions.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

“An American epic in the truest sense…Blake humanely but grippingly explores the heart of a country whose past is based in prejudice.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Blake masterfully tells the Miltons’ history—racism, prejudice, betrayal, loss, and all—and in the process, captures a slice of American history as well.” —Real Simple

“Sarah Blake’s latest novel, The Guest Book, is an engrossing epic that charts the course of the Milton family over three generations, from the 1930s to present day. Pertinent issues that have plagued American history like classism, prejudice, and identity are neatly tied in this transcendent novel.” —BookRiot

“Sarah Blake delivers a juicy multi-generational novel.” —Chicago Review of Books

“It’s a gorgeous book with a strong sense of place, like Empire Falls....If you’re going to read one book this summer make it this modern-day classic.” —The Missourian

My Review:

Sarah Blake’s latest literary phenomenon, The Guest Book, is not for those who want “The End” to tie up loose pieces. It’s instead for the courageous, adventurous reader who likes their plot lines convoluted, their characters complex and flawed and their storylines to span generations. Readers are in fact not given reference to a guest book until mid novel and then will find themselves dangling on each reference hoping for answers.

As Blake spins her story spanning the many years and generations of the Milton family she pushes many buttons, social, economical, ethical and racial as she goes flawlessly and nonlinearly back and forth and forth and back from the 1930s through World War II and up and until the present day. Following the lives of the Milton family starting with Kitty and Ogden in the 1930s who not only go on to become the matriarch and patriarch of the clan but buy an island off the coast of Maine. Showing how a tragic accident in the beginning of their life’s journey sets the stage for a lifetime of regret how secrets can destroy and how choices lead to consequences some are not prepared for.

So if you’re that daredevil kind of reader that doesn’t like your stories tied up in a neat bow, a reader who needs to be challenged and likes disquiet in their tales and fans of this amazing author, Beatriz Williams, Karen White or Lauren Willig you’ve got to make this unforgettable novel your next must read.

Orlagh Cassidy’s rendition of this story puts the cherry on top – from her adroit representation of the timelines to her perfect portrayal of the multi-generations of characters depicted strengthening the author’s intentional aloofness, her recountal will take listeners on the journey of their life.

About the author:
Sarah Blake is the author of the novels Grange House and the New York Times bestseller The Postmistress. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two sons.

About the narrator:
Orlagh Cassidy is an American actress. She attended the acting conservatory at the State University of New York at Purchase. She made her Broadway debut in Present Laughter with Frank Langella


  1. I don't mind stories that mess with me once in awhile, especially if I am prepared for them. Thanks for introducing me to this one Debbie!

  2. I like those that mess with me, just as they do not mess with me too much

  3. I love stories that challenges me and have me thinking outside the box and this sounds just right.

  4. This sounds like a challenging but worthwhile read Debbie! Sometimes I enjoy complex stories that challenge me, and sometimes I enjoy stories where I don't need to think too much. This sounds perfect for people that enjoy a good puzzle! Great Review Debbie :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    1. Thanks Lindy it is definitely a thinking person's story

  5. Really interesting, but I am not sure I am that daring a reader, although I do like the three authors mentioned at the end of your review. I'll look this one up on GR and make a decision!

    1. She writes closer to Willig's style but the three mentioned above do like to have clean finishes.

  6. Not sure that it's my kind of read but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Never heard of this author, but this is a book I definitely want to read! Hugs, RO

  8. I like a complex family type reads and this one does sounds good. I'm glad you enjoyed it!