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The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel

The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel

"I want to say that this book is A Series of Unfortunate Events meets Amelie because it is all at once  romantic, whimsical, magical and sad, but I don’t think that would do it justice. Depression is the theme of this book, as in, The Great One, but also, the one that is inevitable with True Love. This novel however, turns Depression into a clown juggling impossible, absurd things and balancing ambition on her nose. I learned that humor and grief have always been orphans playing in the snow. I remembered the importance of loud, irreverent art. I finished this book on my break with hot tears streaming down my face, a heart completely thawed out, and a belief that love is just as real as the cruel world."

Melissa L.-O.

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Author Heather O'Neill
Publisher Riverhead Books
Publication Date 2017-02-07
Section New Hardcover - Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Melissa L.-O.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780735213739

A spellbinding story about two gifted orphans—in love with each other since they can remember—whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future. 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. 

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes – after years of searching and desperate poverty – the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.

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