‘It was the club you’d kill to join; the launch event to which the A-list were dying to be invited. What no one could have anticipated was how tragically things were about to go wrong’
– The Club
[ About the Book ]
There’s no place like Home . . .
The Home Group is a collection of ultra-exclusive private members’ clubs and a global phenomenon, and the opening of its most ambitious project yet – Island Home, a forgotten island transformed into the height of luxury – is billed as the celebrity event of the decade.
But as the first guests arrive, the weekend soon proves deadly – because it turns out that even the most beautiful people can keep the ugliest secrets and, in a world where reputation is everything, they’ll do anything to keep them…
If your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out . . .
[ My Review ]
The Club by Ellery Lloyd was just published March 31st with Mantle and is a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and an instant New York Times bestseller. Described as ‘an exhilarating, addictive read, telling a story of ambition, excess and what happens when people who have everything – or nothing – to lose are pushed to their limits,’ The Club is recommended for all fans of The White Lotus, Succession and Big Little Lies.
I am delighted to be on tour with Ellery Lloyd today sharing my thoughts with you all on The Club, so I do hope you will be sufficiently intrigued to pick up a copy over the next few days.
To describe The Club in one word, I would say fun! Set in a world inhabited by the filthy rich and famous, it is brimming with glamorous people in a lavish setting who, in some cases get much more than they bargain for (or some might say get their just deserts). The prologue is an enticement for more and the opening chapter is a Vanity Fair article entitled ‘Murder on the Island’ which gives the reader the lowdown on the main players and a general outline of what is to come. As the novel progresses the back story of many individuals are provided, giving the reader the necessary insights to understand what happened and why?
The Island referred to in the Vanity Fair piece is Island Home, the visionary concept of famed CEO Ned Groom. In business for thirty years and with his brother, Adam, by his side, the brand ‘Home’ has become synonymous with the high-flyers and celebrities who crave a little guaranteed privacy, away from the prying eyes of the general public and the paparazzi. Its origins stemmed from The Home Club in Covent Garden, a club that had lost its shine over the years but had once been ‘The Place’ for the higher echelons of society. Ned set about rebranding The Home Club simply as ‘Home’ and it soon became an exclusive venue for those who could afford it in the 1990s.
But Ned Groom had ambition. Ruthless and hungry for more he crossed Stateside and launched Manhattan Home and from those early years his empire spread across the globe from Cannes to Shanghai, all properties only available to a privileged few who could afford it. These clubs were places of supposed sanctuary and privacy, all held in short rein by Ned Groom. He strived for perfection. Working for him was challenging but many saw it as rewarding too. Ned Groom seemed to have developed something very elite, very special and the demand was always there.
Running a very tight ship required staff that could be trusted and now with the launch of his most ambitious project yet, Island Home, Ned was edgy. Ninety minutes from London he had developed a whole island at outrageous expense. Island Home was to be his most grandiose experiment. This was the launch that everyone wanted to attend and it was down to Annie Spark, Head of Membership, to decide who was lucky enough to receive an invitation and who didn’t make the cut.
As the guests arrive different perspectives are offered via each chapter with The Vanity Fair piece popping up at random locations, adding a wonderful ‘on the spot’ type of journalism as the story slowly unravels. Murder and mayhem ensue as the weekend unfolds and it soon becomes blatantly clear that something very nefarious is afoot. All is not what it seems on this island paradise as an underlying toxicity seeps into the atmosphere and mixes with some outrageous personalities. Island Home is no longer the safe haven it was promoted as but instead a place of pernicious rumours and mystery, of death and destruction, of over indulgence and hideous behaviour.
Writing The Club was inspired by some real-life experiences of the writers.
“I was fascinated by the Jekyll and Hyde aspect of fame—the famously charming and erudite actors who remained mute, the enfants terribles singers who were actually adorable, the strong, moody silent types that turned out to be chatty and warm, remembering the name of every single person on set.
I came to understand that there is a unique set of pressures that public scrutiny exerts on a person over time, how intense the need to not be seen—to go somewhere you wouldn’t be judged for not being the fictional version of yourself a fan had their head—must be, especially in the age of the camera phone.”
Collette Lyons (one half of Ellery Lloyd) – Reese’s Book Club
The Club is a mischievous, satirical novel set in a world so beyond the imagination of most of us that it has to be read with an open mind and a willingness to be completely immersed in its opulent and completely extravagant setting. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a voyeur of Island Home. As a writing duo, Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos, aka Ellery Lloyd, have captured that insatiable desire of a certain cohort of the rich and famous to always be seen at the top of their game and to be part of a select group of people beyond the realm of us ordinary folk. Packed full with a rather reprehensible bunch of characters, all wonderfully portrayed, The Club is a delectably dark and very entertaining murder mystery with quite a gratifying conclusion!
[ Bio ]
Ellery Lloyd is the pseudonym for London-based husband-and-wife writing team Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos. Collette is a journalist and editor, the former features editor at Stylist, content director of Elle and editorial director at Soho House. She has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and the Sunday Times as well as two travel books. Paul is the author of two previous novels, Welcome to the Working Week and Every Day is Like Sunday. He is the program director for English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Surrey. The Club is their second novel.
Twitter ~ @ElleryLloyd