The Hotel Neversink

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

A very enjoyable novel, with a number of layered short stories tracking the fates of a hotel in the Catskills through the years. The character portraits are strong; I was sorry not to return to some of the characters. Well-written, readable and compelling.
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I feel like The Hotel Neversink by Adam O'Fallon Price is being marketed wrong. I was expecting a creepy mysterious hotel where children often disappear. But instead, we're given a family saga covering numerous characters across four generations. Each chapter is a new POV (though there are a few repeats) with most written in close third person and then two inexplicable first person chapters. It kind of reminded me of a more serious & depressing version of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, but with less of the charm. The crux of this book is the Sikorsky family & not a mystery. But, in the end, I still enjoyed reading this and getting acquainted with the sad history of the Neversink hotel & the Sikorsky family. (less)
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Oddly enough, I read an excerpt from the novel in Harper's Magazine this week, and so intrigued by the short story, I read the novel to find out what happened to the kleptomaniac housekeeper single mom of a young son with polio and the large female hotel guest who offers to pay for her son's medical expenses but expects sexual favors in return. Lo and behold, those characters never surface again in the novel. There's a brief mention of the housekeeper, but no reappearances. To some degree, it's more a collection of short stories that are connected to the Hotel Neversink than a novel, as readers are introduced to a variety of characters, mostly related by family to the owners of the hotel, and many of these characters don't surface again until the end. It's a bit of a Who Done It--since children start disappearing at the hotel and in the town, found dead here and there, but one girl who was strangled, survives, and years later, decides to confront her demons by researching the murders and writing a book about the hotel's dark history. The ending was not a complete surprise, but I do wish we would have seen more of the character who was guilty for the murder throughout the novel. Lively novel, rich characters, and a compelling read.
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