Lonely Hearts Hotel

Lonely Hearts Hotel

Book - 2017
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FP 25,000(CDN) From the two-time Giller Prize shortlisted author, a novel set in the seductive underside of Montreal and New York between the wars. Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. One is a girl named Rose; the other, a boy named Pierrot. Each display rare gifts that bring them adoration and hatred. As they are made to travel around the city performing clown routines to raise funds for the orphanage, they make plans for a sensational future. They are separated as teenagers and sent off to work as menial servants, but both soon find themselves escaping into the criminal world. Canadian author - Montreal
Publisher: : HarperCollins Publishers, 2017
ISBN: 9781443435864
Branch Call Number: ONE
Canadian
Characteristics: 389 pages ;4 cm

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From the two-time Giller Prize shortlisted author, a novel set in the seductive underside of Montreal and New York between the wars. Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. They are separated as teenagers and sent off to work as menial servants, but both soon find... Read More »

From the two-time Giller Prize shortlisted author, a novel set in the seductive underside of Montreal and New York between the wars. Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. One is a girl named Rose; the other, a boy named Pierrot. Each display rare gifts that bring... Read More »


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wendybird Feb 15, 2021

There is no doubt the writing is magical and bouyant as a circus - an amazing, dancing work in many ways. Initially, the tone seems borrowed more from a child's fairy tale or star dusted picture book than an adult novel. Fittingly, we meet its stars, Pierrot and Rose, in a dark, post Victorian orphanage surrounded by unloving and routinely cruel nuns. In spite of the setting, we're caught up in O'Neill's intricate tale, spinning high above the baseness, and like the young pair, begin to experience the magic of performance, and of childhood.
As the story progresses and both children reach adulthood, they leave the orphanage - landing in strange, yet also tailor made households, adopted out because of their unusual personal gifts. And here, the scales begin to fall from both the tale's and Rose's eyes. Unlike Pierrot, she sees the adult world for what it is, learning how to best manipulate it and those around her to her advantage. Pierrot remains an innocent, and yet is not spared many of the horrors of adulthood.
Above all, this is a compelling and lyrical love story, and yet it is also so much more. I won't hide some disappointment in the second half's plot twists - but these are personal preferences and take nothing away from the book. It lands so much like a circus - a perfect, lively confection.. where behind the grease paint and the spangled leotards, there is much ugliness and cruelty. There isn't one without the other.

v
VSchullery
Dec 14, 2020

Couldn't get past the first description of child sexual abuse. That is disgusting, not entertainment.

m
MrsRedbeard
Nov 16, 2020

Dark, organic journey through a tough landscape. While graphic in places, sometimes a dirty little book, the transition is well illustrated. A sad story that shows you can't judge a book by its cover. Worth reading, but a tough read.

n
nashedmonton
Mar 11, 2020

Heather's books are sheer delight. My only regret she doesn't write more books. Her stories are magical.

b
BruceLeeReads
Sep 02, 2019

Praise: Interesting story arc that is gritty and dark with splashes of whimsy. The characters are relatable, yet unique despite their horrendous experiences. I really enjoy the prose since it's written in a wonderfully flowery way without being too pretentious.

Criticism: Despite having strong female characters, the book still emphasizes the sexual ability and climaxes from the men's perspectives which I found hypocritical. I also grew a bit tiresome of every chapter ending with a one line metaphor that seemed forced.

m
mcadrin
Apr 25, 2019

The "author" seems to have put together bits from other books and then her own sexually fantasies to come up with a book that I'm surprised anyone would publish. Poorly written nonsense. Didn't even get half way through it, and I'm someone who usually just has to finish a book no matter how bad it is, because I keep thinking it's got to get better if someone published it. Would not recommend to anyone!!

Avid Reader

s
stellamd
Dec 19, 2018

A very enjoyable read. Fast paced. Interesting characters.

a
Adw555
Oct 05, 2018

Descriptive and magical.

Pierrot and Rose grew up in the same orphanage in Montreal, both abandoned there as newborn babies. A love develops between the two despite many obstacles: poverty, jealousy, crime, addiction.

Their lives are lived separately until the stars align and cause their paths to cross - this is where the real magic begins.

Pros: Beautifully descriptive language flows through the entire novel, quite delightful to read.

Cons: Many sexual situations are featured in this novel - I was not expecting that...and unfortunately I think much of the symbolism from the rest of the book went right over my head.

Very well written and a nice change of pace - definitely an original piece of work.

4 stars

endora Sep 26, 2018

I really loved this book, period. A love story, but not in the conventional sense. It is a wild and often crazy story, written by an author who has more imagination than any other author I can think of right now! I kept saying to myself "how on earth did she think that line up?!!!"

k
KatG1983
Jul 04, 2018

I am someone who will typically finish reading a book this length in 2-4 days, depending on how interested I am in the plot. It took me the entire 3 weeks of my library borrowing period to force myself to get through this one. It's not that it's badly written, as much as I just did not care about the characters, at all, nor did I find the story itself compelling. I'd give it a great big 'skip it'.

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