The reviews on this one were mixed, so I really wasn’t sure what to think. And anyway, I got it for free from Book of the Month since it was literally the only Book of the Year nominee I hadn’t read yet, and it’s a short read, so if it was sucky not really much of anything lost. And I definitely didn’t think it was sucky! It was an entertaining read. Most of the characters were despicable and detestable (except Olivia and Hannah, basically), but they were still interesting to read about.
Probably the best thing about the book is the way Foley uses her setting, a deserted Irish island bought by a married couple, who renovated the Folly into a wedding/special-event venue. The island is remote and only accessible by boat, and for almost the entirety of the story is rocked by storms and gloomy weather. There’s a graveyard immediately visible upon arriving at the island. Most of the island is bog, and the guests are encouraged to stay firmly to marked paths lest they get stuck in the bog. The castle is drafty, if beautiful, and the walls are thin.
I also thought she used her structure well. The book goes back and forth between the wedding night, when something bad happens, and the day before. There are various POVs, including the bride, the sole bridesmaid (the bride’s half-sister), the wife of the MC (who is also the bride’s best friend), the wedding planner, and the best man. Most of our POV characters have tragic backstories and secrets that gradually trickle out, and things build to a pretty satisfying conclusion. This isn’t a mystery novel, but there are clues for you to parse to figure out what’s happened to our characters in the past, and predict what’s going to happen in the future.
If you like mysteries and thrillers, I would recommend this.
[3.5 stars, rounded up]