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Top reviews from Canada
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3.0 out of 5 starsDefinely A Different Book
Reviewed in Canada on February 12, 2019
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.
One of my goals this year is to read more books by Canadian authors. I am SO happy I picked this book up. It was sitting on my Kindle since 2017 when it was long listed for the Women's Prize. It blows my mind that it was not short listed (and that it did not win!). This is a beautiful, dark and gritty book about love, childhood innocence, missed opportunities, imagination, art and so much more. I was completely enraptured throughout the whole narrative. This is a book that I will definitely be revisiting in the future. Highly recommend!
3.0 out of 5 starsI usually enjoy mysteries, and stories with psychological depth but perhaps ...
Reviewed in Canada on January 14, 2018
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.
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.
4.0 out of 5 starsnot necessarily nice people but understandably so and my heart breaks for ...
Reviewed in Canada on June 4, 2018
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.
4.0 out of 5 starsAn example of this superb writing tells it all. ...
Reviewed in Canada on March 27, 2017
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.
Can highly recommend this book. It reads a bit like a fairytale, set in Canada, everything about it is different. I loved all the characters, the hardships they endured and the sad story of their lives in the orphanage. A tragic ending though.
It started off so amazingly well - light, sweet,brilliant turn of phrase. It was genuinely different and beautiful. Two orphans with a dark and tragic background, a Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet. But it quickly turned incredibly sexual and dark. I am not a prude in the slightest, but about 40-50% into the book it felt to me like a higher brow "Fifty Shades" (which I've not read, but perhaps you understand the parallel). I have no problem with sex, but after a while you just wanted the story to progress but couldn't for all the bedroom action. I gave up at 70% through it. It had so much potential and the use of language is beautiful, but just not worth the hype.
5.0 out of 5 starsSomething different, something wonderful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2017
Fantastic story, it had me hooked on page one. I like that you never get bored of a perspective as it switches from Rose to Pierrot and back. There was a lot of vivid imagery and wonderful descriptions. I liked that it was both a love story and not!