Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Literary

The Colonial Hotel

A Novel

by (author) Jonathan Bennett

ECW Press
Initial publish date
May 2014
Literary, Contemporary, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it



This devastating tale of love and war is “in Graham Greene territory . . . A solid novel on morality in our not-quite-postcolonial world.” (Globe and Mail)

“An exploration of love and grief, the power of storytelling, the pains of parenthood and uncomfortable truths . . . Bennett has cleverly and sensitively described the many types of love tested by war . . . Rewarding and intensely moving . . . Devastatingly beautiful.” — National Post

A lyrical, heartbreaking story of ardour and devastation

A doctor and a nurse, Paris and Helen, are doing humanitarian work in a nation on the brink of civil war. They have also fallen in love with each other — and Helen is pregnant with their child.

Then, a confrontation breaks out and they are swept up by rebel forces and separated. One is imprisoned while the other escapes. In The Colonial Hotel — which recasts a classic story of ancient Greece into a modern setting — we learn of their fates, in a brutally powerful story of family, forgiveness, and identity.


About the author

Jonathan Bennett is the author Here is my street, this tree I planted for ECW Press, and After Battersea Park and Verandah People for Raincoast Books. In 2003, he was a finalist for ARC magazine’s “poem of the year” award. Originally from Sydney, Australia, he now lives in Port Hope, Ontario.

Jonathan Bennett's profile page

Editorial Reviews


“Jonathan Bennett has cleverly and sensitively described the many types of love tested by war. The result is a rewarding and intensely moving read: deceptively gruelling, given its slim dimensions, but also — like its heroine — devastatingly beautiful.” — National Post

“Bennett has presented a compelling, lyrical novel of love, suffering and reconciliation.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“This short novel is at once lyrical and brutal, alluring in its spare, elegant prose and shocking in its honest portrayal of the realities of political corruption and duplicitous leadership. Bennett is able to demonstrate the timelessness of the themes of the original classic story in this contemporary setting, offering both emotional depth and universal truths about the human condition.” — Waterloo Region Record

“These characters and their journey are utterly compelling.” — Ardor

“A solid novel on morality in our not-quite-postcolonial world.” — Globe and Mail


Other titles by Jonathan Bennett

Related lists