by Nicola Harrison
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Pub Date 20 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 04 Jul 2023
In 1942, Hazel Francis left Wichita, Kansas for California, determined to do her part for the war effort. At Douglas Aircraft, she became one of many “Rosie the Riveters,” helping construct bombers for the U. S. military. But now the war is over, men have returned to their factory jobs, and women like Hazel have been dismissed, expected to return home to become wives and mothers.
Unwilling to be forced into a traditional woman’s role in the Midwest, Hazel remains on the west coast, and finds herself in the bohemian town of Laguna Beach. Desperate for work, she accepts a job as an assistant to famous artist Hanson Radcliff. Beloved by the locals for his contributions to the art scene and respected by the critics, Radcliff lives under the shadow of a decades old scandal that haunts him.
Working hard to stay on her cantankerous employer’s good side, Hazel becomes a valued member of the community. She never expected to fall in love with the rhythms of life in Laguna, nor did she expect to find a kindred spirit in Jimmy, the hotel bartender whose friendship promises something more. But Hazel still wants to work with airplanes—maybe even learn to fly one someday. Torn between pursuing her dream and the dream life she has been granted, she is unsure if giving herself over to Laguna is what her heart truly wants.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 25 members
I loved The Show Girl by Harrison, so I had to jump at the opportunity to read her newest upcoming title and it didn't disappoint.
Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison has written a beautiful, detailed novel that I found so hard to get away from.
The setting of Laguna Beach, California and the time period was described so beautifully.
The pages just come to life with her amazig characters and brilliant storytelling.
Hazel, I loved her. She is strong, independent and determined.
The descriptions of the WWII in 1942 was fascinating and intriguing.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and enjoyed taking this journey into another world.
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Hotel Laguna is the story of Hazel Francis, a young woman from Wichita, Kansas. Longing for a change in her current situation, Hazel takes a chance and sets out for California to take her place among other women working in an airplane factory during WWII. Once the men return home, and their jobs are returned to them, Hazel again sets out to find her way, with only herself to count on. Hotel Laguna is a great story of perseverance, friendship, and determination. The way Nicola Harrison balances a historical fiction story while making her characters feel understood and relevant in current times is one of the reasons she is a favorite author of mine. Hazel is a young woman finding her way in often uncertain situations, and her flawed history to me is a reason to fall in love with her story. The beautiful setting of Laguna Beach, California, a mix of friendship, romance, and deceit are just a few more reasons I very much enjoyed this book. This is a perfect mix of historical fiction and a light beach read, and I loved it. Thank you to Net Galley and St Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this book which is set to be released June 20th 2023, all opinions are my own.
Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison is a great historical fiction that takes us to post-WWII in California.
I really enjoyed being transported to another place and time within history. Visiting California (Laguna) in the immediate post-war years was a treat. This is a locale and a time period that really could be explored more.
The author did a great job immersing the reader into the environment, the social attitudes, and the surroundings.
Hazel Francis was a joy to follow. Being a midwest transport to the west coast, and seeing her navigate society, the times, and trying to find and balance her hopes, dreams, and her heart amongst the obstacles was the best part of the book.
It was well done.
Thank you NG and St Martins Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 6/20/23.
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