Verdict: CONSTANT GUESTS is an imaginative ride effectively brimming with ideas, characters, and plotting.
A family secret prompts a young woman to go on a journey around Europe filled with tarot cards and danger.
Isa receives a phone call from her mother to meet about an urgent matter: she confesses that she is not actually her mother. She is her aunt. Her real mother has been in a coma since a horrific car accident that occurred when she was eight and a half months pregnant with Isa. And she has just woken up. Rushing to her mother’s bedside before she expires leads Isa on a course across Europe to discover her mother’s mysterious past and involvement with tarot cards and mediums and meet plenty of shady and colorful characters. History also bubbles to the surface with a monk from the 14th century who is not all he appears preparing to write his memoirs. It soon becomes clear that some people are very interested in Isa’s mother—and will go to great lengths to seek out information that she had.
Although the very beginning the timeline of the book is a little confusing, the novel quickly finds its tempo and never lets up. As the main storyline emerges from a number of smaller stories, elements fall into place and any disorientation is soon replaced with excitement. CONSTANT GUESTS walks a fine line in terms of plotting, and although it features many literary moments, the story at times reads like something out of a gripping thriller, and manages to take the best of both genres. And as intricate plot twists surface, the author expertly juggles a large cast of characters. While at first they might be overwhelming, each is well developed, unique, and memorable. Despite being billed as historical fiction (parts are set in the Middle Ages and the Roman Empire), the majority of it is set in or close to the modern day, and it maintains a pleasant balance between the two that makes it a pleasure to read.
CONSTANT GUESTS is an imaginative ride effectively brimming with ideas, characters, and plotting.