The Little Hotel: A Novel

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( 64 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780030132261: The Little Hotel: A Novel

The Hotel Swiss-Touring is the refuge for a group of cosmopolitan characters who come together in Switzerland after World War II. Their object is to conceal themselves from the money-hungry governments and hostile master races.

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About the Author:

Christina Stead (1902-1983) was an Australian-born novelist and short-story writer, acclaimed for her satirical wit and penetrating psychological characterizations. She lived in the US for many years, teaching at New York University in 1943 and 1944, and working as a Hollywood screenwriter in the 1940s. She returned to Australia only late in life. Her fourth work, The Man Who Loved Children, has been hailed as a masterpiece’ by Jonathan Franzen, among others. Stead is considered one of the most influential Australian authors of the twentieth century.
Dr Lisa Gorton is a Rhodes Scholar and writer best known as an outstanding poet, winner of the inaugural Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize and the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal. The 2008 Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry was awarded to her book Press Release. Her first novel, The Life of Houses, was published in 2015.

Review:

The Little Hotel provides an in-depth examination of the longings and dreams of the hotel owners, workers, and guests at a "fourth rate" Swiss hotel shortly after World War II. Through Selda, one of the owners, a woman "always astonished at how people can muddle their lives," we learn about the guests and the staff as well as how she keeps order and calm amid clashing personalities. There is an English woman of fifty, slowly dying of boredom; the "Mayor of B" from Belgium, constantly issuing unnecessary documents he keeps in the hotel safe; the wife of a doctor who is sure her husband is trying to kill her with prescription drugs. The hotel staff includes fifty-year-old Clara, who has worked there many years and vies for power over the other staff and guests; Luisa and Lina, sisters from Italy; and Rosa, a young German waitress who wants to be an actress. The staff tries to decipher the whims of the guests and deal with their own situations, and while many of the guests see the staff as friends, it is not an equal relationship - and that difference is not lost on the staff. Irony, humor, and sadness emerge as this unlikely mixture of people goes about the art of living. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith

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Stead, Christina
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