Bailey's/Orange Women's Fiction Group discussion

The Lonely Hearts Hotel
This topic is about The Lonely Hearts Hotel
2017 Book of the Month > October 2017 The Lonely Hearts Hotel

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message 1: by Val (last edited Sep 30, 2017 11:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Val Our October book is The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill

This novel does not seem to have been reviewed by most of the usual publications, but I have found a few links.

Penny | 680 comments Mod
for some reason I hadn't connected that this is the author of Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill

it will be interesting to see how this compares

message 3: by Val (new) - rated it 3 stars

Val The Lonely Hearts Hotel is historical, but there are some similarities. Both books visit the seamier side of Montreal life and examine how young women cope with it (rather better than the men in both cases).

Penny | 680 comments Mod
OK - once again I'm late but I'm just finishing off a buddy read and then will start this one - anyone else just starting?

JenniferD (booktrovert) | 343 comments i read this book when it was published, earlier this year. loved it... but won't be rereading it so soon. sorry!! but, i really hope the book will gain some new fans here!! :)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
I'm loving it so far. The two children's characters immediately draw you into the story and it is written almost softly, like snow!

message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane Penny wrote: "... it is written almost softly, like snow!"

Cold and wet? ha! Sorry, couldn't resist.
I'll be reading it as soon as I can get it from the library, wet or dry. It is good to know it is well liked.

Penny | 680 comments Mod
mmm......well - its gone decidedly weird now! I'm having some trouble keeping connected to Rose and Pierrot - they seem so strange I can't understand their behaviour. I am frustrated by the continued sequences of events that I have no understanding of the reaction the characters give to them - that was a bit of a convoluted sentence but basically I don't 'get' the responses of the characters.

I like the writing and the clarity of the settings and descriptions of the characters I just am losing empathy for them
Any one else any thoughts?

message 9: by Val (new) - rated it 3 stars

Val I read this earlier in the year and was intending to read it again, but the library copy I borrowed then has gone missing since.
Following Penny's comment, I remember being confused as to why Rose decided to disband the circus and abandon all her artistes just when she had got it free of the criminal connection.

Penny | 680 comments Mod
there is an odd juxtaposition between the innocence and fairy-like atmosphere and the sexual events within the story that sits awkwardly with me - I can't quite write it in an articulate way but it's feeling disjointed or jarring.

Penny | 680 comments Mod
OK I have finished this and I have to say the longer it went on the less I liked it. Rose changes character so much (view spoiler) and I could only feel for Pierrot but he failed in anyway to help himself - I guess being an addict that is common behaviour. The plot itself was interesting for about 40% and then I didn't care much what happened. I wanted to know about McMahon's wife!!
Definitely not my thing and I wouldn't have finished it except to read for the group.

message 12: by Val (new) - rated it 3 stars

Val I agree with you Penny. Rose is a more sympathetic character in the earlier part of the novel, when she is coping with adversity and doing what she can to take control of her life.

Penny | 680 comments Mod
yes it's almost as if the author needed to harden her creation to extend the story

message 14: by Val (last edited Nov 09, 2017 10:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Val Pierrot has a much easier life when he is young. He does not become hardened and keeps his finer qualities, but he is much less able to cope when life becomes difficult and he doesn't take control.
Is the author perhaps suggesting that someone can't have both the hardness to enable them to cope with life and be a good person? Are finer feelings a luxury that only the relatively privileged can afford to have?
It is a depressing thought (and I don't agree with her if she is suggesting that).

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Maybe Pierrot's route was to become an addict instead of hardening to the extent that Rose did. Not sure what that says about anything but I am very character-led in books and so the changing of Rose was detrimental to the whole story for me. I wanted her to redeem herself somehow by taking over the orphanage or something like that.

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