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Extended Audio Sample An Unexpected Guest: A Novel, by Anne Korkeakivi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (641 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Korkeakivi Narrator: Ellen Archer Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] promising debut novel, a political thriller inspired by Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway…Korkeakivi shares Woolf’s flair for making everyday rituals (buying flowers, setting the table) seem profound.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A quietly intelligent novel about a woman who, at long last, learns to be honest with herself.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Captivating…Drawn from the same cloth as Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, the easy narrative flow, smooth pacing, and interesting characters compel this title about genteel intrigue of both politics and the heart.”


  • “This novel is so adeptly performed that in losing oneself in the suspenseful plot, one completely forgets that just a single actor puts forth so many characters. Ellen Archer’s accents, lovely French pronunciation, vocal range, and perceptive expressions distinctively portray Clare, the story’s chronicler…Archer matches the author’s taut wit and luscious imagery moment by moment.”


  • “Moving between the starched-napkin ambience of high-level diplomacy and urgent questions of revolutionary activity, this engaging debut novel gently probes both without forcing insurmountable choices on its characters.”

    Library Journal

  • “Beautifully modulated…Korkeakivi produces a knowing comedy of manners, a politically charged thriller, and genuinely moving study of the human heart.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Camille Turner | 2/6/2014

    " This book is the definition of tedium. It takes place a day in the life of diplomat's wife. The background hints she has a secret, but do we really need to go shopping with her to find out what the secret is? The secret wasn't even that bad. It had the potential to be, but didn't. I found myself thinking, Is this lady this dinghy when it comes to her family? Once again a main character doesn't communicate well with her loved ones. Normally when I read a book, I try to imagine how it would play out on the big screen. I didn't do that this time, because I was bored. I didn't like this woman very much, and the fact that she tamps her personality down for the men in her life grated on my nerves. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Holly | 1/28/2014

    " This is an interesting book written to encompass a single day in the life of the main character, Clare, who is the wife of a British diplomat. It is a lengthy day filled with professional duties, political protocol, and personal tribulations on many levels. Clare is an intriguing character, surely much more interesting than the beige person she identifies herself with. As the day unfolds she must face many complications, some of which are out of her control and some of which she can assert control over. I can't say that this was an amazing book but it was enjoyable to read and created a multi-faceted character who held my interest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Joey | 1/24/2014

    " Not too exciting. The circumstances and consequences of the unexpected guest didn't amount to much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Coco | 1/23/2014

    " This is a very nice standard novel. The food references will force you to eat something while reading it but it was a short, light novel that told a story about people in a place and time. I finished the book without feeling indifferent. It could've given me more, but I appreciate a story that is told well and that doesn't involve vampires or teenage socialites. "

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