Review: The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
Kindle Edition, 333 pages
Published January 5th, 2016 by Vintage
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother’s bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.

In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard’s life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard’s investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers

My thoughts…

Richard's brother, Philip, is getting married and Richards wife thinks it will be best to have the bachelor party in their home. That way Richard can control the situation and things can’t get out hand. They both suspects that Philip's friend Spencer may be hiring strippers for the occasion.

Alexandra and Sonja arrive at the party along with their guards, after just finding out about the murder of their friend Crystal. They both fear that after the party they will be murdered next. Things escalate quickly from drinking, partying, sex and then suddenly to murder of the two Russian guards.

Richard’s home becomes a crime scene covered in blood and it is obvious that sex occurred in his daughter’s bedroom. What was to be a simple bachelor party ends up threatening his marriage and his career, because Richard went upstairs to The Guest Room with Alexandra.

Alexandra shares her history in alternating chapters as the current disaster of Richard’s life unfolds. Alexandra, (Anahit), the young Armenian girl, is taken from her home in at the age of fifteen, after her mother dies. She is sent to Moscow, thinking she is on her way to become a ballerina. Instead, Anahit is introduced into the cruelties of the sex trade and later sent the New York City, along with Sonja and Crystal.

This was an okay read for me, and I like the chapters of Richard and his family trying to rebuild their relationship more so than Anahit’s background with the sex trade, probably because human trafficking is a tough subject matter. I’m sure I would have given this novel more stars, if not for the ending. It was very unexpected and honestly, I didn’t like it.

This is the first book I have ever read by Chris Bohjalian, I certainly will be reading another one, hopefully the one sitting on my shelf, The Sleepwalker.

Happy Reading -J


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