Midwest Book Mom Presents: The Overnight Guest - Book Review
Book Rating: ★ ★ ★★.5
“Homes were suppose to be safe havens, meant to protect. It was supposed to be a shelter from the elements, a fortress to keep out evil, and her home had betrayed Josie in the worst possible way.”
The Overnight Guest
True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.
As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.
Let’s talk plot. Gudenkauf did superb providing an intense plot in trying to figure out where the child came from. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but there are three different storylines. One is Wylie Lark’s story then the second storyline, Josie Doyle, a thirteen-year-old girl who comes a victim when her family is murdered, and her best friend is taken. The third storyline is a little girl and her mother held captive in the basement by her father. At first the storylines seem confusing but there is a chain linking them together. It felt like Gudenkauf was slowly pulling the curtain, revealing the reader a peek inside at a time then she rips it back revealing the unforeseen surprise. Ta-Daa!!
I enjoyed the character development in this novel. She had me hooked on the main characters. There were a couple side characters I thought were irrelevant but then I saw their significance later in the story. Gudenkauf’s style in creating the back story for the characters made the novel. As a reader, it was easy for me to visually see the character descriptions and their personalities.
The narrative and dialog flowed well making it enjoyable to read. It was easy to see the scenes with enough details to fill in the blank. In fair warning, there are some gruesome scenes for example the murder and triggers of domestic and child abuse regarding the woman and child locked in the basement. In my opinion it was subtle, but everyone has different levels.
Conclusion: Overall, my book rating for The Overnight Guest is 4.5 out of 5 Stars. Friends, I was up till 1:30 A.M. on a Saturday night wanting to finish this book. Truly, Heather, you had me reeled in and surprised me along the way. My highlights is the plot and the character back story especially in how it’s created. Again, superb…I know I’ve used this word several times, but it goes with how I felt when I finished…superb.
Thank you to Walls of Book in Ankeny, Iowa for pre-ordering this book for me. Walls of Books sells new & used books plus educational material. If they don't have what you're looking for, their exceptional customer service will take care of ordering it for you.