I am still trying to decide if I liked this book or not, the ending was a bit disappointing. There seemed to be lots of descriptive language and a lot of odd stuff that you can't picture happening in the real world but I must say it all held my interest and pushed me to keep reading even through all while I was reading I wasn't sure if I liked the book or not. Interesting read and very different than what I usually read
One of the most delightful, engaging, heart-rending books I've ever read. And I've read a lot. With phrases that take your breath away with their simplicity, beauty and accuracy, the author weaves a truly magical tale which is ultimately grounded in harsh realities. I was so captivated by the book that I deliberately controlled how much I would read each day - I didn't want the magic to end. Wholeheartedly recommended.
While this book was described honestly as an overview, I found the story disturbing and unsettling. Perhaps this is an accurate account of the lives of these children but I was left feeling dismayed at the end. The writing is quite well done so I have no complaints about the author’s ability to tell a tale, I just wish I wasn’t left feeling so disenchanted with life in general when I finished reading the book. I usually enjoy mysteries, and stories with psychological depth but perhaps this book just isn’t my thing. I suppose I was hoping for a happier outcome but then again perhaps the author would have felt it made it more of a fairytale. I have rated it 3 stars because the writing is very good.
This is really an incredible read. Over the last two years I've worked my way through all of Heather O'Neill's books as well as her reading list. This may be her best! It is full of delightful sensory metaphors and reads like well-crafted cinema.
An example of this superb writing tells it all..."a young girl's body is the most dangerous place in the world, as it is the spot where violence is most likely to be enacted". This story touches our hearts, depicting the lives of those fragile individuals who have been abandoned by society.
This was a very hard read for me as the child abuse at the hands of the nuns was both disturbing and unsettling. Even after the orphanage, life continues to be a struggle. Being an optimist, I continued reading as I wanted Rose and Peirrot to survive and to find one another. These two people were the products of a tortured childhood. They survive but at what cost, not necessarily nice people but understandably so and my heart breaks for them.
Our book group had lively discussion on Heather O’Neill’s Lonely Hearts’ Hotel and we found that, while the writing was often lyrical and uniquely phrased it was overburdened with similes and needed much editing. The middle section of the book was long and tedious. But on the whole it was a one of a kind, touching on many “taboo” subjects and the Montreal underworld, or you might say underbelly, in the years between the world wars.
A unique perspective on life, love and loss; The Lonely Hearts Hotel is written with prose that is extravagant in its simplicity. Heather O'Neil speaks the language of outcast in this novel. Her characters are full fleshed-- so chaotic, imperfect and raw that one struggles to view them as fiction. You feel the characters' hope and misery as you are immersed in their deepest consciousness. Bravo.