Fiction · Novels · Reviews

Review: The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Hi friends, happy Monday! I hope you are all well. Today I’m posting my review of Heather O’Neill’s novel The Lonely Hearts Hotel.

I read this for my Canada Reads project (reading all the nominated books for #CanadaReads).

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by: Heather O’Neill: Pierrot and Rose were two children born with extraordinary talents; one a piano prodigy, the other a dancing and comedic queen. Born into the same orphanage the two start to travel around the city for money, that is until Pierrot gets adopted. Wondering if they’ll ever see each other again, the two find their way through the 1930s Depression, ensuring that if they reunite they’ll make it last. This was a dark novel, darker than the reader was anticipating. From the very first page this novel jumped into child sexual assault and continued in that fashion. As much as the writing was good, it was also really blunt and at times crass, which was off-putting to the reader. It was quite fast-paced at least so the reader moved through the story quickly. The plot was alright, aside from the sexual assault that happened for the majority in the beginning of the novel, this read as a coming of age story for two children born into an orphanage who fall in love. Mostly, the reader was curious to see where their story would go, would they see each other again, would they stay together. The ending felt like it was added for shock value because it didn’t make any sense. After everything the one main character had been through to end it on something that felt so out of character was very strange and unbelievable. If it was supposed to be for closure, it didn’t work here. The characters were, for the most part, well rounded; they weren’t very likeable but the fact that they weren’t, worked for the plot. The development was good but there wasn’t enough to keep the reader invested in them or to care about them. This novel is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and sadly this one didn’t work out for this reader.

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