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Hotel of the Saints

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  614 Ratings  ·  74 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 tries
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ebook, 176 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Scribner (first published 2001)
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Sophia
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Beautiful writing and plots which appear to be simple but are not. Readers will find both loved and unloved parts of themselves mirrored in Hegi's characters. There are so many lines that I wish I myself had written.
Sue Wargo
Oct 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Annerlee
Many of these are not so much short stories as literary sketches. It's amazing how the author can sketch a scene in just a few phrases or sentences, a few pencil strokes...
Although the scenes are short, they are full of insight - scenes that felt simple on first reading are actually not... and I benefited from re-reading each one a little later.

My favourite was the first story: 'Hotel of the Saints' because of its colour, its wry humour and its humanity. The last story had me in tears...
Donna
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written short stories that explore the human experience in many stages of life. Two of the stories resonated with me so much that I didn't finish them because it was so close to my own experiences.
Anna
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent study in characterization. Each character was unique and came alive on the page.
Maggie
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories were okay. The best is about colors replacing the drab existence of an oppressed newly widowed woman who jazzes up her hotel.
Sterlingcindysu
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
Cwinter
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Laura
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Darlene
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thomas Andrikus
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Judi
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2001
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
Christine
Ursula Hegi leaves the reader wanting more! Several of these beautifully written stories end too abruptly. What happened to the young seminarian? How did Aunt Jocelyn do in her new hotel?
What happened to the new family in "End of All Sadness"? Two of the stories are connected: "Freitoid" and "For their Own Survival" take place in the same place and time, with different story lines. Do the stories eventually intersect?

Overall, Hegi provides a book of short escapes that make the reader think. And
...more
Ed
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't heard of this author, but the note on the dust jacket intrigued me:
"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."
This description was apt. This is a beautiful book. The writing is intelligent and perceptive, and the stories are masterfully crafted. The book was a joy to read, and I look forwar
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Bezpanski Pies
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How I love everyone Hegi brings to life. She could make Hitler human, if she only pressed his life into one of these pages. When I turn the last page of Women's Perfume or Hotel of Saints, I feel dismay that they end so abruptly, and end up thinking about the characters throughout the day, making up a life for Christa. That's my only regret. That the stories end, that in fact they are only stories. I hope they are not. I hope they live out their lives somewhere, and that Hegi continues to write ...more
Haven
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.
Jane Dugger
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books-read
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.

Favorites:
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.)
Elizabeth
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sandra
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Anne
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
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.
Ben Weiner
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Liz
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Velvetink
Nov 04, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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?"
Debbie
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like it. She is inscrutable at times for me, but she hit me hard with the last story in the book about letting your dog be put down. I cried.
Good short stories...her writing is always a little dark, but interesting.
Ardia
Aug 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but I found myself wishing that the first story, Hotel of The Saints, had been a much longer story. I think I assumed that the stories would all havehad something in common, but this was not true, and didn't make the book any less enjoyable.
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.
Ellen
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lynne
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies
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.
Jaime
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
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.

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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...
“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.” 3 likes
“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.”
2 likes
More quotes…