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At Reception

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A tale of self-discovery and transformation. 
Sally finds herself in a lonely world of her own making. Suffering psychological stress, unsupported and mistreated, she chooses to live alone, with only stuffed toy pets for company. Unable to change her situation, she is locked in a cycle that’s impossible to escape and crippling her life. 

Lost in her own world, the arrival of a guest at the hotel where Sally works begins the challenging process of her opening up to the idea of a human relationship. Every day is a series of short interactions with guests and staff and each provide the basis of a series of short stories, which intertwine over the three days that the book is set. Sally’s interactions with the guests increasingly challenge her long-held opinions and self-image. Will John’s charm help her across the stepping stones of life and find herself willing to go on a serious date with him? 

At Reception  is a heartfelt debut novel from Galahad Porter that draws on the issues of loneliness and stress to encourage self-discovery.


First published August 24, 2017

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Bookread2day.
2,311 reviews63 followers
October 25, 2017
Paperback review. I was swept a way by the originality of At reception. This book is without question unlike anything that I have ever read before. Galahad Porter certainly has the gift that added all the scenes nicely played out to fall in love with lonely Sally. I was dedicated to read all about Sally, that mainly was because Sally was a character that I had never experienced reading about before. It did make me feel quite sorry for Sally who is very much a professional behind the hotel reception, dealing with complaints from hotel guests. But sadly Sally leads a totally different lonely life at home, her personality is far from business like at home . She lives with only stuffed toy animals for company, which I found rather moving. The dialogue is masterful, with the exact kinds of words that you would expect from a hotel receptionist like, Good morning, how can I help you? For me personally I felt like I was right there standing at the reception desk. For the originality of this book I highly recommend it.
525 reviews2 followers
November 12, 2018
Sally is a strange person formed by her past, where the story hints at abuse and neglect. She's been working the reception desk at a large hotel for 15 years and has a few unusual quirks.
Specific hair ribbons to match specific elements of her outfit.
Speaking to the flowers on her desk and the lobby mirror at work and her stuffed toys at home because they are her only friends.
The book covers three working days in Sally's life and her interactions and conversations, both out loud and internally, with guests checking in or out; hotel staff and of course her flowers and the mirror.
It's all pretty mundane events, but somehow you are kept interested in the bits of gossip and information Sally gathers over the course of the three days.
I honestly did not see the ending happening in the way it does. It sets the stage perfectly for the planned trilogy the author mentions he is working on. Am looking forward to reading those.
61 reviews1 follower
September 20, 2017
After reading At Reception's description, I was definitely curious how the book would go. I was intrigued by the idea of the different characters Sally would meet throughout her shifts at the hotel. After finishing the book in one day, I have some mixed feelings. While Sally could be relatable at times, sometimes she came off as a little too petty. Overall I liked her though, as I think we all have our moments. I appreciated the authors descriptions of the guests when they came back to the front desk because I'm not great at remembering names. I thought Sally's stress coping mechanisms were interesting. She was quite a character. I wish she had a little more growth throughout the story. And I'll be honest, after spending so much time sympathizing with her, the ending felt like a bit of a betrayal. I would be interested in reading the next book in this world.
Profile Image for Lady Donato.
96 reviews4 followers
September 5, 2017
The first few pages of this book was ok. I had a hard time reading through the
narrators thoughts and the way she talks to inanimate objects like the "flowers"
and "mirror". I get it, her job as a receptionist is a bit repetitive and sometimes stressful.
But geez, Im sorry but I just couldn't stand her constant whining and conversations with flowers and
mirror. I hate giving such a bad review but its just not for me.
Profile Image for Hannah.
76 reviews5 followers
November 14, 2017
I have to admit, I really didn't like the main character. I just couldn't get past the constant talking to her flowers and the mirror. I mean, I understand that she is doing a very repetitive job and that's all she can do pass time but it just annoyed about halfway through. Another thing I wish this book did was to give the main character a bit more growth and development throughout the book. I personally didn't see that much of a change in her as I was reading it. I'm sorry I couldn't write a more positive review, but this book just wasn't for me at all. Thank you, NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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