The Guest List Book Summary

A Reese's Book Club Pick

by Lucy Foley8


A lavish wedding on a secluded Irish island turns deadly in Lucy Foley's atmospheric thriller 'The Guest List', where secrets and tensions culminate in murder.

What is The Guest List about

'The Guest List' by Lucy Foley is a gripping thriller set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, where a wedding celebration spirals into chaos and murder. The narrative unfolds through multiple perspectives, including the bride, groom, best man, bridesmaid, wedding planner, and a plus one. Each character brings their own secrets and grievances to the event, leading to a tension-filled atmosphere. As old grudges and hidden truths come to light, a murder occurs, leaving everyone a suspect. Foley's novel is reminiscent of Agatha Christie's classic mysteries, full of twists and turns that keep readers guessing until the very end.

The Guest List 7 Key Takeaways

The Wedding Setup

The novel begins with the guests arriving on a secluded island for the wedding of Jules and Will. The setting is remote, luxurious, and perfect for a high-profile event.

Character Introductions

The story is told from multiple viewpoints, including Jules (the bride), Will (the groom), Hannah (the plus one), Johnno (the best man), Aoife (the wedding planner), and Olivia (the bridesmaid). Each character's perspective adds layers to the unfolding mystery.

Revelation of Secrets

As the wedding festivities progress, hidden secrets and past grievances among the characters start to surface, creating tension and suspicion among the guests.

The Murder

A body is discovered during the wedding celebration. The narrative shifts between the past and the present as the characters' backgrounds and motives are explored.

Unraveling the Mystery

Clues are scattered throughout the characters' flashbacks, revealing connections and animosities that point to potential motives for the murder.

The Climax

The climax builds as the true identity of the murderer is revealed, tying together the various threads of the characters' stories and secrets.


The novel concludes with the resolution of the murder mystery, providing closure for the characters and unveiling the full extent of their intertwined lives and motives.

The Guest List Best Reviews

  • 'I loved this book. It gave me the same waves of happiness I get from curling up with a classic Christie...The alternating points of view keep you guessing, and guessing wrong.' — Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient
  • 'Evok[es] the great Agatha Christie classics…Pay close attention to seemingly throwaway details about the characters’ pasts. They are all clues.' — New York Times Book Review

Top The Guest List Quotes

  • 'We all have our secrets.'
  • 'The island is so much smaller than I imagined. There’s nowhere to hide.'
  • 'And then there is the body.'

Who should read The Guest List?

'The Guest List' is perfect for fans of psychological thrillers and classic murder mysteries. Readers who enjoy intricate plots, multiple perspectives, and tension-filled narratives will find this book particularly engaging. It's also suitable for those who appreciate atmospheric settings and complex character dynamics.

About the Author

Lucy Foley is a British author known for her contemporary mystery novels. She has written several bestselling books, including 'The Hunting Party' and 'The Guest List'. Foley's writing is often compared to Agatha Christie's, known for its intricate plots and suspenseful storytelling. Before becoming a full-time writer, Foley worked as a fiction editor in the publishing industry.

The Guest List FAQs

Is The Guest List worth reading?

Yes, 'The Guest List' is highly recommended for its engaging plot, well-developed characters, and suspenseful writing style. It has received praise from readers and critics alike.

What age is The Guest List appropriate for?

The book is suitable for readers over the age of 15 due to its mature themes and intricate plot. It's a great read for fans of thrillers and mysteries.

Is The Guest List by Lucy Foley being made into a movie?

While there are currently no plans for a 'The Guest List' movie, the TV/film rights have been acquired. The focus is currently on adapting Foley's earlier novel, 'The Hunting Party'.