Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

The Guilt Trip
by Sandie Jones
August 3, 2021 by Minotaur Books

Six friends.

Rachel and Noah have been friends since they met at university. While they once thought that they might be something more, now, twenty years later, they are each happily married to other people, Jack and Paige respectively. Jack’s brother Will is getting married, to the dazzling, impulsive Ali, and the group of six travel to Portugal for their destination weekend.

Three couples.

As they arrive at a gorgeous villa perched on a cliff-edge, overlooking towering waves that crash on the famous surfing beaches below at Nazaré, they try to settle into a weekend of fun. While Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her future sister-in-law Ali better, Ali can’t help but rub many of the group up the wrong way: Rachel’s best friend Paige thinks Ali is attention-seeking and childish, and while Jack is trying to support his brother Will’s choice of wife, he is also finding plenty to disagree with Noah about.

One fatal misunderstanding . . .

But when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them hold begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death.

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3 Stars

Okay, I admit I really did read this in part due to the cover. I had made a joke that a ton of books were coming out that looked the same and that I'd take on reading them all. Little did I know that all of them would be about destination weddings. Those are some of my faveeee. Give me a beautiful destination, a brewing storm, and some unruly guests and I am all about it. The Guilt Trip is, no surprise, about a secret, or rather many, that are threatening to consumed each guest. The guilt in this story is like a whole separate character, a character that wants to take over.

I read The Guilt Trip in one sitting, staying up too late to witness the secrets being exposed. In a fun twist of events, I did not see the reveal coming and I definitely did not see the last 10% playing out how it did. Rachel, the person whose perspective we watch the events unfold from, appears to be trying to be the bigger person, but her own secret is threatening to come to light. Her husband, Jack, is massively angry at something, her best friend, Noah, is hinting at knowing something, Noah's wife, Paige, seems to want to egg everyone on, the bridge, Ali, is taking everything just a bit too far, and her groom, Will, is none the wiser. Throw in a pile of secondary characters, and well, The Guilt Trip unfortunately becomes a soap opera. Like a soap opera, I couldn't look away, but I admit it was too much. It got to the point that I knew all the secrets and twists couldn't possibly all be revealed, not every plot could be completed, and there was no way the book could end cleanly in the number of pages available to it. Did I keep reading though? You bet.

The Guilt Trip may suffer a bit from having just so much going on, but it's enjoyable, like a reality show about the rich but in the pages of a book. I wish the ending had given us more, it really lacked the full drawn out reveal I wanted, but I have to say I loved that I didn't see anything coming. Sandie Jones puts it all in here, so if dramatic suspense is your thing, this is the book to grab.

1 comment

  1. Nice review Carlene. I had a few issues with this one, but it was fun and yes, that last twist was totally unexpected.


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