A young woman pretends to be someone she isn’t in this “spellbinding” (Vogue), “smoldering” (The Washington Post) novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls.

Drug abuse, drug use, adult/minor relationship.

Summer is coming to a close on the East End of Long Island, and Alex is no longer welcome.

A misstep at a dinner party, and the older man she’s been staying with dismisses her with a ride to the train station and a ticket back to the city.

With few resources and a waterlogged phone, but gifted with an ability to navigate the desires of others, Alex stays on Long Island and drifts like a ghost through the hedged lanes, gated driveways, and sun-blasted dunes of a rarefied world that is, at first, closed to her. Propelled by desperation and a mutable sense of morality, she spends the week leading up to Labor Day moving from one place to the next, a cipher leaving destruction in her wake.

Taut, propulsive, and impossible to look away from, Emma Cline’s The Guest is a spellbinding literary achievement.

Don't just take our word for it...

“Under Cline’s command, every sentence as sharp as a scalpel, a woman toeing the line between welcome and unwelcome guest becomes a fully destabilizing force.”
– The New York Times

“Cline generates an impressive amount of intrigue . . . The descriptions are frequently bracing and acute, sharpened to icepicks by a stance of amoral neutrality.”
– The Wall Street Journal

“Young, beautiful Alex is . . . a grifter wandering through a pricey, dreamlike summer playground looking for her next mark. Cline’s exquisite writing makes us care in spite of ourselves.”
– People

Taste the very first page

This was August. The ocean was warm, and warmer every day.

Alex waited for a set to finish before making her way into the water, slogging through until it was deep enough to dive. A bout of strong swimming and she was out, beyond the break. The surface was calm.

From here, the sand was immaculate. The light—the famous light—made it all look honeyed and mild: the dark European green of the scrub trees, the dune grasses that moved in whispery unison. The cars in the parking lot. Even the seagulls swarming a trash can.

On the shore, the towels were occupied by placid beach-goers. A man tanned to the color of expensive luggage let out a yawn, a young mother watched her children run back and forth to the waterline.

What would they see if they looked at Alex?
In the water, she was just like everyone else. Nothing…