Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Louisa
If you’re in need of book club discussion questions for The Guest List by Lucy Foley, then you’re in the right place.
If you’re a fan of thrilling mysteries that keep you on the edge of your seat, then The Guest List is the ideal book club choice.
Our discussion questions are designed to help you and your book club members explore the complex characters, intricate plot, and underlying themes of the book.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to discussing literature – it’s all about sharing your unique perspective and insights.
So if you’ve left it a little late to prepare some book club questions for The Guest List, then come armed and ready with this helpful guide.
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Synopsis of The Guest List
The Guest List is a thriller that takes place against the backdrop of a pristine beach, where friends and family of Jules Keegan and Will Slater arrive to celebrate their nuptials.
Set on the day of their wedding, the story follows the meticulously planned and beautiful event. As the guests savor the picturesque morning celebration, the narrative takes a sudden turn when a body is discovered amongst the crowd.
As attendees reel in shock, it quickly becomes clear that the festivities have been overshadowed by an unanticipated tragedy. The untouched wedding cake stands as a silent witness to an unfolding mystery.
As the story progresses, it begs the question, who harbored ill feelings against the couple? And, more hauntingly, why choose such a momentous and joyous day to commit a murder?
Please note that the questions below contain spoilers of the book.
Generic Book Club Questions for The Guest List
To kickstart your discussion, I’ve compiled a list of general questions that are designed to encourage participation from every member of your book club.
Whether you have a shy newcomer or a seasoned regular, these book club questions for The Guest List will help to build confidence and get everyone involved in the conversation.
- What did you think about the book?
- What were your expectations before reading The Guest List?
- How did The Guest List make you feel?
- Which was the most interesting scene in the book, in your opinion?
- Were there any characters that you felt you can relate to in any way?
- What are the key principles you have learned from the book? What have you taken away from the story?
- Did you feel this was a slow-burning novel or a real page-turner?
- Would you recommend this book to others?
The Guest List Discussion Questions
After breaking the ice with some small talk, it’s time to delve into a deeper and more meaningful conversation.
To guide your book club discussion, I’ve compiled a list of thought-provoking questions for The Guest List that should get the conversation moving in a more poignant direction.
- Did you suspect any characters at the beginning? Why?
- Did the ending seem surprising to you? Why or why not?
- Do you think the culprit really was the culprit, or is he protecting someone?
- Do you believe there were any happy couples in this novel?
- Have you read any other murder mystery stories? How does this compare?
- As you progress through the novel, we learn that each character has secrets. Who’s secret shocked you the most? Were there any you didn’t see coming?
- The story is told through six perspectives, why do you think the author decided to write in this way?
- The story was set in a rural setting in Ireland – what significance do you think the setting had to the story?
- Have you read any other books by Lucy Foley? How does this compare?
Educated Book Club Questions for The Guest List
If you’re looking to explore the book’s deeper themes and discover its hidden messages, I recommend asking some of these insightful and educated book club questions for The Guest List.
- The novel was written in Agatha Christie’s “locked room mystery” kind of way, where you don’t find out who is the murderer, but who was murdered. Explain why you think the story panning out in this way differs from other murder mystery novels. Do you think it helped build suspense? Or was it confusing?
- Did the dual timelines and alternating perspectives work for you?
- Did the storyline feel too coincidental to you, or were you surprised by each plot twist?
- Jules and Will didn’t know each other for very long before they were married. Why do you think they were in a hurry to get married?
- What do you think about Will? The author portrays him as a man who makes evil decisions; leaving a boy chained up to die and causing Hannah’s sister to commit suicide after an act of revenge porn. Do you think he’s a sociopath or do you think he’s more haunted by his actions than he let on?
- Lucy Foley writes: “It’s always better to get it out in the open – even if it seems shameful, even if you feel like people won’t understand.”Do you think this is true? Should all secrets come out, or are things better left unsaid?
- It’s quite clear that the friendship group is toxic. Do you think it’s possible to leave your friends when things turn sour, or is loyalty more important?
- Lucy Foley writes: “In my experience, those who have the greatest respect for the rules also take the most enjoyment in breaking them.” – do you think that’s true? Is there enjoyment in doing something wrong?
Read more: Miracle Creek Book Club Questions
5 Suggestions for What to Read Next
With these discussion questions for The Guest List in your arsenal, it’s time to start planning your next book club meeting.
If you’re searching for some inspiration for your next read, I’ve got you covered with some book suggestions below.
1. Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
If you’re looking for a novel that explores themes of race, prejudice and social expectations, then Such a Fun Age is a popular book club read that sparks debate and insightful conversation.
The story follows Alix Chamberlain, a confident woman who has made a living showing other women how to do the same.
When one night her babysitter, Emira, was out shopping in a local supermarket, she is accused of kidnapping the baby because Emira is black and the baby is white.
To make matters worse, the altercation is filmed and put online. Emira is furious and Alix is desperate to make things right.
Emira doesn’t have much money to pay for a layer and is wary of Alix’s help. She’s only 25, about to lose her health insurance, and has no direction.
When the video of Emira reveals some secrets of Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a downward spiral.
Such A Fun Age is about what it means to be family, of the meaning of transactional relationships, and the complications of the 21st century where everything is filmed and put online.
Related post: Such A Fun Age Book Club Questions
2. Untamed – Glennon Doyle
If you’d like to explore women’s issues, LGBTQ topics or real-life issues, then another popular book club novel is Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
Inside every woman is a voice of longing. Women want to be good at everything; partners, daughters, mothers, friends, and employees. But striving often makes you feel stuck and overwhelmed, or even underwhelmed.
Glennon Doyle is someone who once denied her own discontent. Until one day she fell in love with a woman while speaking at a conference.
She realized that love was coming from within, that her inner voice was speaking to her. It was the voice of who she had been before she was told what to be.
And so she quit. Quit pleasing and started living.
Untamed is an intimate memoir about a woman’s wake-up call. It is the story of how she went from living each day, to really living.
She talks about how she changed in motherhood, her divorce, forming a new blended family, and how everyone can begin to trust themselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with their lives and their bodies, deal with emotions, and unleash their truest selves.
3. A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
A popular book to read in a book club is A Gentleman in Moscow, the debut novel from author Amor Towles.
It centers around Count Alexander Rostov in 1922. After being assumed an unrepentant aristocrat, he is sentenced to house arrest where he has to stay in a room in Metropol, a grand hotel.
While Rostov is under house arrest, many life-changing events are unfolding just outside the hotel’s doors.
Rostov had a reputation for being a knowledgeable man with great wit.
However, he has never worked a day in his life and was used to the finer things before his sentence to house arrest in the hotel.
While being locked away in isolation should have broken him, the new life circumstances provided an outlet to discover his true emotions.
4. Dear Edward – Ann Napolitano
For a book about survival, hope, and learning about one’s place in the world, consider reading Dear Edward next.
The story follows twelve-year-old Edward Adler and his family, plus 183 other passengers on a flight from Newark to Los Angeles, who were the victims of a plane crash.
They were halfway across the country when the plane went down, and Edward was the sole survivor.
The nation is drawn to Edward’s story, but without his parents and his brother, he struggles to find a place in the world.
He feels like when the plane went down, it left Edward in the sky, leaving behind a shell of himself.
Then one day he makes a discovery – how to find strength and move on, to find meaning in life when all has been taken from you, and how to feel safe again.
Dear Edward is a heartfelt, coming-of-age story of how one boy with a broken heart learns to love again.
5. Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro
If your book club would like to read something thought-provoking and poignant for the modern world next, then consider Klara and the Sun for your next read.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s award-winning novel, Klara and the Sun, is an exploration of emotion and the power of technology.
In a world of artificial friends (AFs) and robotics, a young woman named Josie is diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness and given an AF named Klara to accompany her.
Klara loves her human friend deeply but quickly senses that something darker is looming just beneath the surface of Josie’s family.
As she discovers what lies behind their secrets, Klara also unfolds the complexities of love, hope, fear – and ultimately life itself. This powerful read is sure to captivate readers in every way.
Final Word on The Guest List Book Club Questions
I hope you found these book club discussion questions for The Guest List helpful and thought-provoking.
Lucy Foley’s thrilling novel has captivated readers with its atmospheric setting, complex characters, and suspenseful plot.
From the secrets and lies that tie these characters together, to the haunting island setting that adds an eerie backdrop to the story, there’s so much to discuss and explore.
Remember, these questions are just a starting point, so feel free to let the conversation flow naturally and share your own insights and opinions.
If your book club members have shared anything interesting about The Guest List, then share your thoughts in the comments below.