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The Guest Book

af Sarah Blake

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5473933,080 (3.43)22
"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. That 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 dies. In 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 Maine. An island that, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, this last generation doesn't have the money to keep. 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 life. An ambitious novel that weaves the American past with its present, Sarah Blake's The Guest Book looks at the racism and power that has been systemically embedded in the U.S. for generations" --… (mere)
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» Se også 22 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 39 (næste | vis alle)
At first I thought this book dragged but as I “settled down” and appreciated the language and pacing I really loved it. Interesting portrait of the waning American, specifically New England WASP. ( )
  scoene | Jul 13, 2021 |
A wonderfully crafted dynastic saga of an American family and its entitlement and secrets. I fell deeply into the lives of three generations of the Milton family, whose secrets eventually start bubbling to the surface and raise complicated moral questions.

Of course I knew when I read the epigraphs by James Baldwin and Virginia Woolf at the beginning, there was little chance I would not like this novel. There were whispers from both, as well as Fitzgerald in this novel. Blake was a new writer to me, and I'm looking forward to reading more. ( )
  Caroline_McElwee | Jun 6, 2021 |
Evie Milton, granddaughter of American aristocrats of Ogden and Kitty Milton, wants to honor her mother's dying request, her ashes to be interred on the family's island, Crockett's Island, in Penobscot Bay, Maine with a marker and a single word, "Here", but she does not understand the reason. The island was purchased during the in-between years between the two world wars by Ogden for Kitty hoping to lift her out of her depression after the death of her oldest son who as an infant fell from a 14th floor apartment's window. In a style similar to Kate Morton's The Lake House, as the book describes Evie's search for her mother's backstory, the reader is also privy to the multigenerational story of wealth, privilege, and prejudice. However, unlike Kate Morton's stories, I wasn't drawn to this one. I found the novel only a so-so read with the climax giving it another 1/2 point for a almost but not quite three-rating. The number of characters became somewhat daunting but it helps that their was a family tree for the essential characters which helped me as the reader. ( )
  John_Warner | Feb 28, 2021 |
Read this for book club - it is a great book to discuss. ( )
  carolfoisset | Dec 8, 2020 |
Ogden and Kitty Nash are a well-to-do couple with three children on the cusp of World War 2. When tragedy strikes their family and the beautiful daughter of one of Ogden's German business partners asks the impossible, they buy an island as a summer getaway, and their choices reverberate down the generations.

The narrative moves back and forth between Ogden and Kitty in 1936, their children in 1959, and their granddaughter Evie, a history professor in the present. The family has secrets galore, with the result that the reader understands much more than the characters, as the omniscient narrator switches among the perspectives of several family members and two outsiders, Len (a Jewish man) and Reg (a black man). The island is at once retreat and albatross to the families, who can't quite let go of their privilege. I found it a really frustrating read, as I couldn't really find it in me to care about this rich family's problems, but there is a lot of meat to the story for a book club ready to talk about class and privilege, race, secrets and silences, and the choices we make. ( )
  bell7 | Nov 28, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 39 (næste | vis alle)
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For my sons, Eli and Gus
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"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. That 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 dies. In 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 Maine. An island that, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, this last generation doesn't have the money to keep. 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 life. An ambitious novel that weaves the American past with its present, Sarah Blake's The Guest Book looks at the racism and power that has been systemically embedded in the U.S. for generations" --

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