So, The Guilt Trip starts off with a dead body. Then, backtracking, we follow three couples as they travel to a destination wedding, and stay together in a scenic villa in Portugal. We follow Rachel, a 40yo mother, as pieces of old and new secrets are uncovered, ratcheting the tension ever higher as they get closer to the wedding.
This book was kind of like watching a train wreck in motion, you just can’t look away as these characters start to unravel before your eyes. The tension was excellent, and tightly strung the whole way through. We live heavily inside Rachel’s unreliable, over-imaginative and highly paranoid mind as she struggles to keep her secrets hidden, while also desperately trying to pry open everyone else’s. I think this book did an excellent job of keeping us guessing on what was true and what was a lie as everyone became more and more unstable. And I will give it to this book, I did not know how it was going to end, and it definitely gave me that, “I have to know” feel.
But, Rachel was not my favorite…. I wouldn’t say I actively hated her… but there was definite dislike. She’s highly hypocritical, constantly beating around the bush, quite repetitive in her justifications and worries (maybe trying to convince herself of certain things perhaps, but still a little wearisome), and honestly just overall hard to connect to. I didn’t really get why the other characters liked her… and I definitely didn’t get the connection between her and Jack at all. I guess my one biggest beef was that this book hinges on a past mistake she made that I still just *Really* don’t understand, and it makes her really unlikeable. I actually had to stop and look at my husband and ask if her actions made sense in any way. Answer: Um. No.
But, despite that issue, I still enjoyed the listen. I thought the narrator did a wonderful job with the voices and the tension, and even though I didn’t like Rachel, I blew through this twisty story, and was mostly satisfied with the ending. If you’re into dramatic relationship-based thrillers, I would totally recommend this. (3.75/5)
Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the free ARC!
Thanks for reading!