Hotel of the Saints
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Hotel of the Saints

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  442 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The bestselling author of Stones from the River and The Vision of Emma Blau renews her reputation as an extraordinary writer of short stories in this major collection that balances her reader on the magical border of laughter and sorrow.
In Hotel of the Saints, Hegi enters the perspectives of lovers and loners, eccentrics and artists, children and parents: a musician trie...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by Touchstone (first published 2001)
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Thomas Andrikus
This novel by Ursula Hegi is a very beautifully-written collection of short stories. It has taken me more than a month to finish, and for a good reason: some of its stories are a bit too realistic that they either make you want to savour the moment...or avoid it entirely.

My favourite stories are the first ("Hotel of the Saints") and the last ("Lower Crossing"). The stories have characters with full, lush personalities that one cannot help but identify them with either themselves or someone they...more
A very short book of short stories--I think you really need more than 3-4 pages for a short story. If you like Stones from the River, consider this a tiny snack of Hegi's writing. (copied review) The bestselling author of Stones from the River and The Vision of Emma Blau renews her reputation as an extraordinary writer of short stories in this major collection that balances her reader on the magical border of laughter and sorrow.
In Hotel of the Saints, Hegi enters the perspectives of lovers and...more
A complex collection of intriguing stories. Collections of short stories are notorious for being uneven, sucking you in with the best stories early on and then scattering thinner offerings across most of the other pages.

Having read Stones from the River and The Vision of Emma Blau, I knew Hegi is an astounding writer, grounded in interwoven stories that span decades and continents, linking them lightly from book to book. So I was dubious about her ability to compact a story into twenty pages. Bu...more
As always, Hegi's writing is deceptively simple and graceful. In her short stories in _Hotel of the Saints_, it feels like she is continually trying to put her finger on some deeper essence of her life, carefully and attentively digging just a little bit deeper below the surface of what could be brushed aside as ordinary lives. The beauty of Hegi's writing comes in the fact that nothing particularly exceptional or wild happens to her characters but the changes that occur within her characters ar...more
This book is collection of short stories with sophisticated depth created to evoke powerful emotions. Hegi is climbing fast to be one of my favorite authors.
I'm not always in the mood to read short stories but when I am, I love when I come across a collection as well- written and memorable as the stories written by Ursula Hegi in Hotel of the Saints. Ms. Hegi's stories each took place in different geographic locations.. Italy, Mexico, the United States and each story was an insightful look at human relationships... relationships between parents and children, between lovers and even a very special relationship between siblings and their pet dog for...more
Sue Wargo
I am not usually a short story reader. But, I loved "Stones from the River" so figured I would try this book. It has taken me soem time to read the stories as it is easy to pick up and put down. I did not do that out of boredom however. Hegi is a master story teller. Even her short short stories are full of meaty characters and great stories. I especially loved the title story "Hotel of the Saints." You will chuckle and find marvel in this collection. Be prepared to have a tissue when you read t...more
HOTEL OF THE SAINTS is a collection of eleven stories, the title of the book the same as the first story. Although each story is unique, they all seem to carry a common theme, or perhaps more specifically, a common emotion; something that isn't exactly love, but more like the essence of the moment in which one transitions from being held and that of being released. While the stories are told in a very simple, low-key tone, the character interactions are complicated and the stories are filled wit...more
This was surprisingly good. And a quick read too.

I don't usually go for short stories but was pleased. Some were really short & others not so much. Overall ... time well spent.

Hotel of the Saints (I wish this place was real so every year I could stay in a different room.)

Doves (A lovely uber short story about discovering new things about yourself.)

Lower-Crossing (A bit of a tear-jerker on so many levels. Oh - and the best one liner in the entire collection.)
These stories are beautiful. Hegi is easily in the realm of Flannery O'Connor - her stories are brutal & beautiful, true and thought-provoking. I devoured the book in a single night, unable to believe how beautiful each story was. Her writing is precise & human, bringing alive all of her characters. Hotel of the Saints is truly a study of human nature - and especially a study of women and their relationships.
Oct 12, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: short story lovers, individuals with Roman Catholic backgrounds, multilingual readers
Recommended to Elizabeth by: an employee at Milwaukee Public Library, Central
I haven't finished this yet, but the first four stories have been lovely in their excellent writing, variety of setting and characters and profound consideration of life's most sublime experiences.
Hegi incorporates sophisticated eclecticism in each story without pandering to the readers' need to have his/her intelligence validated or creating needless triviality so often found in modern fiction.
I know part of really liking this book is that some of the settings are in the Pacific Northwest in places familiar to me: I love reading stories like that! Beyond that, her writing is terrific and her insight into people and her character descriptions are really good. So many are left ... unfinished, though. I want each of these stories made into a novel with complete coverage.
Nov 05, 2010 Velvetink marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction
$1 at a $1 store! Brand New. Short stories from Ursula Hegi look refreshing and I like the titles of the stories.

From Moonwalkers -
"He smells of mouthwash and oddly, gladiolas, even though there are no gladiolas in his room. Just Roses. But those I can't smell. Funeral flowers. A scent from the future?
How to grieve when you don't know the language of grief?"
Austen to Zafón
Although they're not as good as her novel Stones From the River, these stories are lovely. She's able to speak from a male or female perspective and write about a wide range of subjects. What interests me about Hegi is that she can write about depressing subjects without manipulating the reader's emotions with gratuitous descriptions or maudlin sentiment.
A collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors. Hegi's narrative voice is evident throughout, telling the story of a pair of sisters who are readying themselves to part with their beloved, elderly dog, or the feud between two brothers' families, leaving them as well as the villagers who know them in flux. A lovely, quick read.
I found it a little difficult to adjust to Hegi's style of writing at first and almost put the book down. I'm glad I didn't because many of the short stories were outstanding. Although many of these short stories are anything but uplifting, I find myself thinking about some of the characters long after reading the book.
Ben Weiner
To be honest I didn't expect much as I'd never heard of the author, but these short stories were fantastic. Full of sincerity. You know a book is good when you bring it with you on a flight to have something to read and despite the languor that greets you at your destination, you continue to read until you've finished.
This was a twice-read book- 2001 was long ago, so I didn't remember any of the content. Hegi is one of my favorites, but I prefer her full length novels because of her great character development. Stones From the River would be my first choice to introduce someone to her writing.
Jennifer Joelle
This is a collection of short stories that overall were vivid and wonderful. I truly enjoy Ursula's writing style and she is able to have the reader connect to the character within a few sentences. And while I bought this book close to 4 years ago - I'm glad I finally read it.
These stories by Ursula Hegi are up to her usual excellent standard. They are stories about ordinary people fighting loneliness and grief, each in his/her own way, in small towns and on far-away beaches. I've yet to be disappointed by Hegi's fiction.
I love Ursula Hegi's novels, and this book has some quite interesting meditations in short-story form. Spare, unforgiving: they don't fill in all the blanks. A couple of really lovely ones earn the four-star rating. Otherwise ... I love her novels.

I don't normally read books of short stories but this was loaned to me. I really enjoyed it. I rode along with me in the car and the stories were just the right length for riding to town and back. An eloquent writer.
Terri Jacobson
An interesting group of 11 short stories by this German-American author. The stories are well-written and well-developed. There is lots of symbolism, and the themes of the stories are challenging. A worthwhile read.
Some of Hegi's characters are so real and their situations so poignant, the book is actually tiring to read. Hegi manages to paint a picture of an entire lifetime in just a few pages.
How can you not love a short story book? It's like discovering little diamonds all wrapped up in a nice thoughtful package. Excellent writing as usual for this author.
Collection of short stories. Easy read. Learned about the joys and sarrows of relationships, peoples quirkiness, and being open to what life has in store.
The writing, (of course!), is very good. I'm just not a fan of the short story genre. A few of the stories have been quite good, others I didn't care for.
Aug 21, 2013 Chris added it
Shelves: bookclub
I remember most people in bookclub being a bit disappointed, but I love short stories and was captivated. Hegi is very skillful at this form.
Dec 02, 2012 Carol marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
I was going to give this book a 2 star until I read the last story. I challenge anyone, who has ever had a beloved pet not to cry.
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Ursula Hegi is the author of Sacred Time, Hotel of the Saints, The Vision of Emma Blau, Tearing the Silence, Salt Dancers, Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Intrusions, and Trudi & Pia. She is the recipient of more than thirty grants and awards.
More about Ursula Hegi...
Stones from the River Floating in My Mother's Palm The Vision of Emma Blau Children and Fire Salt Dancers

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“I think . . . you should have children, John." At least he's no longer talking about bugs.

"I'm too young, Dad."

"It's the most important thing . . . I've done in . . . my life.”
“She also told me it wore down her spirit to live in the desert landscape that was parched by midsummer, to plant a garden each spring and struggle to keep it alive past July.” 1 likes
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