The House Guests is a story of two single mothers with big secrets who find each other and form a bond that helps them survive the revelations and find the life they could have only dreamed of living.
What I Liked
I love the themes of friendship and family, with their emphasis on support and connection over the need for a genuine blood relation. The Greek family in the story gives me the warm fuzzies even as the tension mounts. With that type of family backing, you up, you know that everything will always be alright – that you can weather all storms.
The novel is very unexpected. I was expecting a high-octane thriller, but instead, I experienced a low simmer building of suspense with each flip of the page. I found myself continually holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and that kept up the tension until the multiple explosions at the end as the secrets revealed and the consequences faced.
All the characters are instantly relatable and sympathetic except for Savannah. Though she is developed with extraordinary realism, her grief makes her a character that is a bit off-putting. She comes across as spoiled, unsympathetically demanding, and even cruel as her anger (caused by grief and situational depression) takes hold, and she says and does completely insensitive things. It comes across as particularly harsh because of all the love and warmth she is surrounded by. And, Yiayia was probably my favorite character. The matriarch of the Greek family that is central in the story is warm and welcoming to all, and her role at the end of the story had me laughing and cheering.
What I Wished
I found the novel to be a much longer read than I expected. Since I enjoyed the story, I think that might be because of the exposition levels over dialogue. I wish there had been a better balance between the two to keep the pages flipping as fast as the story’s pace. But, that is the only thing that impacted my enjoyment of this unexpected find.
To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a suspenseful read with the warmth of a chick-lit story, The House Guests is one you won’t want to miss this summer!
USA Today bestselling author Emilie Richards has written more than seventy novels. She has appeared on national television and been quoted in Reader’s Digest, right between Oprah and Thomas Jefferson.
Born in Bethesda, Maryland, and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Richards has been married for more than forty years to her college sweetheart. She splits her time between Florida and Western New York, where she is currently plotting her next novel.
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