Reader reviews and comments on The Guest Book, plus links to write your own review.

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The Guest Book

by Sarah Blake

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake X
The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
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  • Published:
    May 2019, 448 pages

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Marie De

Begs for Discussion
This is a generational novel brimming with social criticism, pointing out sins and injustices of the past and questioning what can be done about the past. What is the point of studying the past if we can neither change it nor learn from it? How culpable are those who refuse to see evil where it exists? What is our obligation to the past, to Negroes, to Jews? Is a truly classless society possible?
These are a few of the questions “The Guest Book” raises.
Florrie Cooper

Captivating tale with unforgettable characters
The lives of three generations of Miltons spanning most of the 20th century on the Eastern Seaboard sometimes appalls, always intrigues, and never bores. Grappling with personal tragedies and triumphs set within the context of a cosmic shift in American societal attitudes, some of the Miltons do their best to embrace change, while others cling to a way of life embodied by their family island retreat that remains a constant though the decades.

The author, Sarah Blake, is a stunning writer and an extraordinary storyteller. Highly recommended for individual fans of family sagas and book clubs.
Chris H. (Wauwatosa, WI)

The Guest Book
This book tells the story of a family through the times of life. I enjoyed every bit from start to finish. I find that the longer it has been since I have finished it, the more I appreciate and think about it. The characters (there are many) are interesting, unique, and relatable. The stories of family and friends being together ring true. I loved reading about how this family evolves over time. Great book, wonderful setting, interesting characters. What more could you want?
Esther L. (Newtown, PA)

Not To Be Missed
Thank you to BookBrowse for sharing this wonderful book with me. It was beautifully written and the characters were human and deeply compelling.

The book follows the Milton family through three generations from 1935 until the present. Kitty and Ogden are from prominent, upper crust New York families. Ogden runs a private bank that he inherited from his family and Kitty is a devoted wife and mother, both believing that perfect manners and their insular and quiet life are what matter most.

1959 brings both a Jewish man and a black man into their orbit and their prejudices are shown. The author uses the stereotypical mannerisms for both men. Len being gregarious, money grubbing and noisy and not knowing his place in their polite society. Reg is portrayed as the angry black man.

I finished The Guest Book wanting to start reading it again. It's a perfect discussion book for my book club.
Barbara L. (Novato, CA)

The Gust Book
Wow... just finished this wonderful book and I miss it already. Beautifully written, this story is of love, class, race and our own individual blindness to all of these. The setting on The Island makes the perfect backdrop for the tale of sameness and change. I loved it.
M K. (Minneapolis, MN)

History Through Many Vantage Points
From the first paragraph on the first page I was hooked by how beautifully written this book is. The Guest Book by Sarah Blake is about the Miltons, starting in 1935, and their history is about wealth (including an island they bought off the coast of Maine), power, tragedy, and secrets. Through nearly five hundred pages, like any detective, I was curious as to how each character would evolve while all that happens within the family is shadowed by a World War that's going on and the racism against Blacks and Jews that permeated our country. From the first words to the last words I was not disappointed.
Jean B. (Naples, FL)

The Guest Book
If you have ever believed you could write you will feel diminished by this novelist. Sarah Blake is an extraordinary writer. Her prose enables the reader to know the people in her novel and to see and feel the settings. But this novel, The Guest Book, is much more than beautiful descriptive writing. It is an indictment of a group of wealthy and entitled citizens. This is an important novel.
Mary B. (Laguna Woods, CA)

Great historical fiction
This book follows the Milton family through 3 generations from 1935 to today. Grandmother Kitty has many rules the upper class live by and these lead to secrets that almost tear the family apart. I found the alternate chapters in different time periods hard to follow in the beginning, especially since two of the main women are named Evelyn & Evie. The last part of the book is hard to put down. It would make for good discussion in a book club.

Beyond the Book:
  The Islands of Maine

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"An American epic in the truest sense…"
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