When I began this novel I had no idea what the subject matter would be. I only knew that Chris Bohjalian is a great author, and I hoped he had written something I could sink my teeth in. Well, no doubt about that. THE GUEST ROOM hooked me from the first page. Got my attention immediately. And kept it.
I am not a fan of reading about young women and children who have been kidnapped and used for sex. I don’t know anyone who is. However, it’s out there. And it’s in this country. It may begin in other countries, but it’s right here in our backyard; hell, it’s in our front yards.
I’ve never quite understood the big deal about men having to have bachelor parties. It is a big tradition in this country. So when Danny is asked to have a bachelor party at his house in honor of his little brother he’s okay with it. In fact, his wife takes their young daughter to stay with her mother for the night giving the guys some leeway. Oh, boy. Little did Danny know that his life would be changed forever after one fateful night; in hell.
This novel begins with a heart-thumping beginning, goes on to get even wilder. And that is all just a huge understatement. No one saw any of it coming. No one, not even the asshole who booked the “party” girls. And who knew there would be Russian thugs? But this is not the worst of it. Not even close. I dare you to put this book down after the first chapter. Go ahead, try it.
I have heard so many stories about what goes on at bachelor parties. Almost every man has attended at least one in his lifetime, quite possibly, several. I’ve heard of strippers walking around completely naked; not to be touched, so we hear, but, nonetheless, naked; paid for. And what do we women really know? I know men who have been pressured to go to bachelor parties. Some are ashamed, some are excited, and some are downright nervous. Well, after reading this novel, you will always be frightened about bachelor parties. They are not for the faint of heart.
So, something unthinkable happens at this party. And entire families are blown apart, by one lousy night. One wrong move. Your family is in jeopardy. Now what?
Chris Bohjalian has put himself out there with THE GUEST ROOM. He will make you think. And make you uncomfortable. He uses words some of you are not comfortable with. But he is doing this to get a point across. And it works. I asked Chris where his idea came from. And he told me about an experience he had in Armenia with his family. He saw something. Or, I should say, he saw a young girl in a compromising position. And he decided to take it to the next level and write about it. This is not an unheard of crime. But it’s one that happens all too often, and too close for comfort.
I blew through my digital review copy of THE GUEST ROOM in no time flat. Make sure you don’t have any appointments, and make yourself an entire pot of coffee or tea. You will need it.
I did love this novel!