The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I loved the style this book was written in!  I felt like I was walking the streets back in 1921 along with the characters, I’ve not read a style like this before.  The author was perfect in her words for the time period!

The Paragon Hotel is a new historical thriller told from the shoes of Alice James, who considers herself “Nobody”.  When we first meet her, she is on train fleeing for her life with a bullet wound.  The story never really looses it’s thrill even from the start we are thrown into her whirlwind life that she is desperately trying to escape.

Alice is trying to get as far away from New York as she possibly can, hoping to make it somewhere without dying from her wounds first.  She has her eyes set on Oregon. On the train she meets a colored porter man named Max.  While in and out of consciousness, Max gets her off the train in hopes of getting her help.  He leads her to the Paragon Hotel.

The Paragon Hotel is an unlikely sanctuary for a young white woman as this turns out to be the only all-colored hotel in the city and it’s occupants aren’t too keen on her arrival.  Here her new story begins.  Although trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes, soon after her arrival a young colored boy goes missing from the Hotel.

Weaving from past to present, Alice “Nobody” James tells her story of how she ended up with a bullet though her, who she is now and who she wants to be.  Ending up in a tangled web at the Paragon Hotel, weaves a story unlike any other.

The ending was the only part I didn’t care for, out of the entire book!  It wasn’t what I was expecting.  I was hoping for more, maybe of her past to come back into the picture, I’m not sure.  The ending was certainly unexpected for the whole story that was told, but I would recommend this book for the story leading up to the end was grand!

 

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

This was our February Book Club pick!  The group discussion was interesting and mildly deep.  Everyone seemed to have liked the book!

I didn’t dislike the book, although I found it to be a lot going on.  I came to a point where I was asking myself ‘what’s the point of this story’, then referenced back to the title.  The title fits it well after reading all the stories and the character’s little fires everywhere in their lives.  I love that in Book Club, I venture out to read things that I normally would pass by without a second look.

I would suggest this book to others as it does set up for a great book club discussion.  The points touched upon in the story eerily pertained to current events in the world and a case in a town not far from where we live.

Via Goodreads:

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.