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When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her lifeAn ambitious novel that weaves the American past with its present The Guest Book looks at the racism and power that has been systemically embedded in the US for generations Brimming with gorgeous writing and bitterly accurate social criticism it is a literary tour de forc. Not rating itBut also not going to finish it It s rare for me to mention a book I ve not finished a few times some books I read and don t even mark let alone review because it was OK or I just didn t feel like writing anything or there are already TONS of reviews and I don t feel I have much to add But this book has me wondering I just can t seem to care enough about it enough Could be the HOT WEATHER lol 100 degrees here for days If my local book club picks it I ll try again but for now glad many people liked itI m going to say goodbye to it for now


The Guest Book

An unforgettable love story a novel about past mistakes and betrayals that ripple throughout generations The Guest Book examines not just a privileged American family but a privileged America It is a literary triumph The Guest Book follows three generations of a powerful American family a family that “used to run the world”And when the novel begins in 1935 they still do Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything perfect children good looks a love everyone envies But after a tragedy befalls them Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine T. The Guest Book by Sarah Blake is a 2019 Flatiron Books publication An Epic multi generational family saga exposing long buried secrets and truths not only providing a mirrored reflection of the privileged Milton s but of the entire country as well There is the crime and there is silence In the mid thirties golden couple Ogden and Kitty Milton recovering from a horrific tragedy purchase Crockett Island making it a point of renewal They will summer there every year of their lives thereafter as do their children and their grandchildren But now the money has run out and the house is in ill repair leaving the painful decision about the island s future to rest in the hands of the only surviving family members a trio of cousins who each have their own agenda Nothing will ever change Sunlight Starlight Drinks on the dock A single sail out in the bay It will never change It seems to promise You will not die On and on Like a painting Here you are As long as the Island stands we stand Time never minds Evie is fighting hard to keep the island while her cousins are open to selling it and her husband Paul constantly reminds her of their financial situation But is Evie holding on to the island or to her mother s memory Evie can easily laugh at her family s WASP culture history yet she becomes irritated if anyone else passes judgements on them And Despite evidence to the contrary Evie stubbornly turns a blind eye to the dark secrets hidden in her family s past As Blake takes us back across time a heart wrenching story unfolds revealing an ugly sad guilt ridden underbelly to the affluent Milton family one deeply rooted in entitlement prejudice and racism Yet future generations attempt to provoke a new value system one which reuires a conscience insists on a shift in attitude and demands change The contrasts between entitlement power and control against idealism and then juxtaposed against certain harsh truths stirs up a tragic fire storm which left this reader with a fire in my belly on the edge of my seat and with an ache in my heart not only for the characters but for Us History is sometimes made by heroes but it is also always made by us We the people who stumble around who block or help the hero out of loyaltystubbornness faith or fear Those who wall up and those who break through walls Thepeople at the edge of the photographs The people watching the crowd You Sarah Blake s writing is beautiful Her prose is elegant powerful poignant and almost hypnotic The characterizations and dialogue are so incredibly vivid and devastatingly realistic The trappings of wealth the narrow mindedness of class distinctions the half lived lives the progression and changes of the times unfolding through the years stripping away decades of racism and prejudice is mesmerizing Yet for Evie as the blanks are finally filled in there is a revealing defensiveness a conspiratorial protective silence and a stubborn refusal to accept the reality of her family s history one which is too painful to acknowledge view spoilerThe progression throughout the generations though startling and inspiring is still very fragile Though Len and Reg regarded Moss s optimism and idealism as na ve and ineffectual that vision may have been the catalyst for change However the two men weren t wrong in their assessment and not just about the times they lived in Their admonishments serve as a reminder that paying lip service no matter how well intentioned is not helpful and most people offering it do so without fully understanding what it is truly like to walk in another s shoes hide spoiler

Sarah Blake ↠ 1 FREE READ

Hat island and its house come to define and burnish the Milton family year after year after year And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she diesIn 1959 a young Jewish man Len Levy will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters but the scorn of everyone else Len’s best friend Reg Pauling has always been the only black man in the room at Harvard at work and finally at the Miltons’ island in MaineAn island that at the dawn of the 21st century this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. Lovely writing a historical family drama featuring generations of characters a focus on important social themes related race and privilege Slow and a bit lengthy for my personal preference but I can see many readers enjoying this overallThank you to Flatiron Books for generously mailing me an advance readers edition of Sarah Blake s The Guest Book In exchange I agreed to share my honest thoughts on goodreads and my other favorite social media sites readtheguestbook

10 thoughts on “The Guest Book

  1. says:

    The Guest Book by Sarah Blake is a 2019 Flatiron Books publication An Epic multi generational family saga expos

  2. says:

    ”She knew silence often flew in between families and roosted Slow inexplicable angers grew without roots Nothing special no story What the study of history had taught her clearly after years and years was that she might pull up the single moments from the darkness where they lay centuries old she might point to a spot in time a line in a diary the particular shredding of a blue ribbon used to tie a shoe she

  3. says:

    4 starsA family saga spanning three generations a story complicated by secrets that take decades to be revealed A

  4. says:

    Lovely writing a historical family drama featuring generations of characters a focus on important social themes related race and privilege Slow and a bit lengthy for my personal preference but I can see many readers enjoying this over

  5. says:

    There’s a stunning scene toward the beginning of Sarah Blake’s new novel “The Guest Book” that follows

  6. says:

    Privilege Secrets History FamilyThe Guest Book is a sweeping tale of three generations of the Milton family This book moves back and forth in time showcasing secrets and conseuences This book showcases old money

  7. says:

    This is a novel about white guilt and it does so many things right and cares about so many of the right things that I almost—but n

  8. says:

    Not rating itBut also not going to finish it It’s rare for me to mention a book I’ve not finished a few times some books I read and don’t

  9. says:

    I really wanted to like this book given the high praise it received but I just couldn’t First the plot is so l

  10. says:

    “‘Do you remember that day right before she died when Granny K told us there were two moments at the gate in every life?’Evie nodded ‘One at the beginning’‘And one in the middle’ It had been her last