Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.
To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56D and excerpt anything on the page.
Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!
Today’s feature is a new book to my shelves: The Perfect Guests, by Emma Rous.
Book Beginning: (Beth, July 1988)
The house sat on a gentle rise in the otherwise flat landscape, as if it considered itself a castle in this kingdom of marshy scrubland and water channels and rustling green fields. Pale gray walls, broad steps rising from neat gravel to the front door, row upon row of gleaming square windows, and —
“Is that a turret?” I craned my neck through the passenger window. “Is this whole place really just for three people?”
She strolls to the window and slides her hands down the thick embroidered curtains before parting them to peer out into the night. A pair of headlights is approaching from the direction of the road, and she glances at her watch—it’s almost six thirty.
Synopsis: 1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she’s truly part of the family…until they ask her to help them with a harmless game—and nothing is ever the same.
2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It’s strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she’ll be staying at, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.
In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she’d imagined—even with damage from a fire decades before—but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there’s something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone…including her.
Are you intrigued? Would you keep reading?