Tuesday, August 24, 2021

NEW REVIEW: A Small Hotel by Suanne Laqueur



A few Christmases ago I dug into my first Suanne Laqueur novel and from there went through everything on her backlist as quickly as I could. I've enjoyed every single thing she's written and A Small Hotel is another absorbing read that I now want to give to all of my reader friends. 

I'll be honest, I am usually pretty strategic when I read her novels because I know these two things to be true:

1. It's going to be an emotional reading experience so I need to have the mental space for that kind of journey.

2. I'm going to be useless to do anything else while I'm reading her novel.

A Small Hotel continued with those two truths--it was emotional and I was absolutely worthless when it came to doing life things. Within the first pages I was completely taken with the entire Fiskare family. Their familial bonds, their kindness, how they were each other's friends and confidantes and while also their siblings/uncle/father. Their bond reminded me a lot of my own family and extended family and it just felt like home to me; being in this world she created was warm and loving and familiar. I recognized so much of our family in theirs, which only made my investment in the narrative of Kennet and his observations about life, his family, his love, the war, and the world that much more. I fell in love with everyone he did, I laughed for him, at him and with him, and was devastated when he was. 

Suanne Laqueur's attention to detail, the obvious investment of time to research, and basically the entire construction and craftmanship of the novel from characters to dialogue to plot were all done exceedingly well. Because of all of this, reading A Small Hotel was just such a treat and it was really hard to get to the end and know there wasn't another page to read. 

It looks like this may be the first of several novels with this family and to say that I'm eager and excited to read whatever comes next, is a huge understatement. If you are new to Suanne Laqeuer's writing, start now and start here; I think you'll love A Small Hotel. 


An American Family. A World War. A First Love. A Small Hotel.

It’s the summer of 1941. Europe is at war, but New York's Thousand Islands are at the height of the tourist season. Kennet Fiskare, son of a hotel proprietor, is having the summer of a lifetime, having fallen deeply in love with a Swedish-Brazilian guest named Astrid Virtanen. But the affair is cut short and the young lovers permanently parted, first by Astrid’s family obligations, then by America’s entry into the war.

The rigors of military life help dull his heartache, but when Kennet’s battalion reaches France, he is thrown into the crucible of front line combat. As his unit crosses Europe, from the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, Kennet falls into a different kind of love: the intense camaraderie between soldiers. It's a bond fierce yet fragile, vital yet expendable, here today and gone tomorrow. Sustained by his friendships, Kennet both witnesses and commits the unthinkable atrocities of warfare, altering his view of the world and himself. To the point where a second chance with Astrid in peacetime might be the most terrifying and consequential battle he’s ever fought.

With her signature blend of soul-stirring prose and emotional complexity, Laqueur takes readers on a journey through events that shape an American family’s weakest moments and finest hours. A Small Hotel illuminates the experience of ordinary people thrown into extraordinary circumstances, and their once-in-a-generation camaraderie, courage and resiliency. It’s a novel for the world, a heartbreaking, uplifting story of family, love and human endurance.

Post a Comment

Comments are bloggy food.

Feed our blog...

© Must Read Books or Die. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.