An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi

58%

11 Critic Reviews

Clare herself can be a little frustrating as a character. Her obtuseness regarding her youngest, favorite son... made me want to shake her.
-Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis

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.

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.
 

About Anne Korkeakivi

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Anne Korkeakivi was born and raised in New York City but currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband, who works at the United Nations, and two daughters. She has also lived in France, Finland, and a number of states in the Union, accumulating a B.A. in Classics and an M.A. in English and Comparative Literature. Her short stories have run in The Yale Review, The Atlantic, The Bellevue Literary Review, and other magazines.
 
Published April 17, 2012 by Little, Brown and Company. 289 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for An Unexpected Guest
All: 11 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 19 2012

a knowing comedy of manners, a politically charged thriller and a genuinely moving study of the human heart.

Read Full Review of An Unexpected Guest | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Feb 27 2012

Korkeakivi fluidly fuses the past and present, building a solid character in Clare and powerfully exploring whether redemption from past regrets is possible and the lengths one must go to attain it.

Read Full Review of An Unexpected Guest | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Christian Science Monitor

Below average
Reviewed by Yvonne Zipp on May 23 2012

Clare herself can be a little frustrating as a character. Her obtuseness regarding her youngest, favorite son... made me want to shake her.

Read Full Review of An Unexpected Guest

Washington Independent Review of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Harriet Douty Dwinell

There are too many characters with too many issues... None of these issues is explored in depth, either in terms of concrete detail or raw emotion. It is hard to understand or feel any of them.

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Fiction Writers Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Erika Dreifus on Apr 27 2012

delicious armchair travel... a satisfying reading experience

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S. Krishna's Books

Below average
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Jun 07 2012

The book is quiet, to be sure - it’s mostly a novel about getting through the day... In the end, it’s a bit predictable

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Curled Up

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Leonard

Since Korkeakivi is showing one day in Clare's life, acute attention is given to the passionate details of her domestic existence.

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The Booksellers New Zealand blog

Below average
Reviewed by Felicity Murray on Jun 12 2012

I did find the minutiae of Clare’s life incredibly dull... Plus there was just a shade too much French dialogue... It does lend a certain ‘Francais’ to the story but if you can’t read French simply a nuisance.

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Just Another New Blog

Good
Reviewed by Dina on Apr 17 2012

...an irresistible story of many layers. The city of Paris comes to life in vibrant color... masterfully entwined with political turmoil and the intricacies of diplomatic life. An Unexpected Guest is a remarkable debut novel

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Nicki Markus

Good
Reviewed by Nicki Markus on Apr 17 2012

a book well-worth a read and one which will appeal to fans of literary fiction in the style of Mrs Dalloway.

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Pieces Blog

Good
Reviewed by Michelle Jones on May 11 2012

a blend of straightforward storytelling and the gently lyrical... Emotionally intelligent and politically astute.

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Reader Rating for An Unexpected Guest
63%

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J Wemekamp

J Wemekamp 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list