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Book Review

‘The Guest Room’


Chris Bohjalian’s new novel, “The Guest Room,” tells the story of Richard and Kristin Chapman, a 40-year-old couple living a life to which others would aspire. book 5.5Their lovely suburban New York home is well appointed and comfortable. She is a popular and respected teacher in the local high school, and he is a successful investment banker in Manhattan. More than anything, they love to spend time with their 9-year-old daughter Melissa and each other.

Reluctantly, Richard agrees to host a bachelor party for his younger brother. Kristin, with the remarkable level of understanding her character displays throughout the book, takes Melissa to Manhattan so the two of them can spend the night with her mother. Meanwhile, the situation in Kristin’s home moves beyond any “wild party” she might have imagined. She suspected her brother-in-law’s friends might hire a stripper, but she didn’t anticipate there would be two so-called strippers, and they would murder their so-called bodyguards in her living room.

The aftermath of the horror is described from the perspectives of Richard, Kristin and Alexandra, one of the two young women engaged to entertain the men at the party. As the media sinks its teeth into the salacious story, Richard and Kristin feel the devastating, rippling effects on their marriage, their professions, their daughter and their lives. This is a gritty, compelling thriller dissecting the compounding consequences of a single mistake. CV



Prep Iowa


By Chris Bohjalian


Jan. 5, 2016


336 pages



Sally Wisdom retired from the Des Moines Public Library in 2011 and found her dream job at Beaverdale Books soon after.


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