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.  

The etiquette and formal way of life for diplomats came alive for me in An Unexpected Guest through the description of the many details that go into hosting a successful dinner party. I had no idea that the success or failure of food and flower choices, the direction of conversation and the satisfaction of each guest around the table could have career-altering ramifications.

The writing flowed smoothly at times and it was easy to sense the inner struggles of the main character. However, the flashbacks into her past were often sudden, confusing and difficult to understand until a few sentences in, making it necessary to go back and reread the section with this new understanding. I found this frustrating and awkward.

While An Unexpected Guest was not a complete disappointment, it did not live up to my expectations.

I give this book 3 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from Hachette Book Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.