Clare Moorhouse, the American wife of a high-ranking diplomat in Paris, is arranging an official dinner crucial to her husband's career. As she shops for fresh stalks of asparagus and works out the menu and seating arrangements, her day is complicated by the unexpected arrival of her son and a random encounter with a Turkish man, whom she discovers is a suspected terrorist. More unnerving is a recurring face in the crowd, one that belonged to another, darker era of her life. One she never expected to see again. But it can't be him - he's been dead for 20 years....
Like Virginia Woolf did in Mrs. Dalloway, Anne Korkeakivi brilliantly weaves the complexities of an age into an act as deceptively simple as hosting a dinner party.
Enjoyed the inner view of a diplomat's life from a wife's perspective. The intrigue about her past keeps the reader guessing.
When an author can take a few loose threads of a plot and bring them all together in a very full story, I find myself in book heaven. I honestly wasn't expecting that much when I started this book. What could be riveting about one day in the life of a deputy ambassador's wife in Paris preparing a dinner party that evening? Yet, the story builds and builds until you are hooked and can't stop listening.
For a story of this type, characters matter. Anne Korkeakivi delivered with very believable but interesting people.
If you are a fan of the classic novels "Mrs. Dalloway" or "The Hours", you will find this book very comparable. The main difference, and NO spoilers here, but the ending is fantastic. I loved it and felt great when I finished the book.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Reader was excellent, story compelling, yes.
What did you like best about this story?
We all have things to hide in our past, does anyone need to know really?
Have you listened to any of Ellen Archer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I like the reader alot, don't know if I've heard her before.
Did An Unexpected Guest inspire you to do anything?
Any additional comments?
Story dragged in places and was underdeveloped in some areas.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
I found this an easy listen while doing chores but felt the main character was rather shallow. Guilt from our past can often overshadow our present and this aspect of the story kept me interested.
This kind of story (a woman reviewing her life as she prepares for a dinner party) has been written already by Virginia Woolf and Michael Cunningham.They did it with charm, wit, and intelligence. Anne Korkeakivi is either a bad writer, or the narrator made it sound badly written. It was a total disappointment.