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list price: $31.00 USD
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category: Fiction
published: May 2017
ISBN:9781443454957

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

A Novel

by Heather O'Neill, read by Julia Whelan

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magical realism
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $31.00 USD
edition:Audiobook
also available: Hardcover eBook Paperback
category: Fiction
published: May 2017
ISBN:9781443454957
Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Globe and Mail Most Anticipated Book

NOW Magazine Book You Have to Read

Toronto Star Book We Can’t Wait to Read

“Heather O’Neill is just getting better and better.” —The Globe and Mail

“It would be hard to overstate here just how the good the writing is in The Lonely Hearts Hotel. For it is stunningly, stunningly good.” —Toronto Star

“By the end I was a gasping, tearful mess.” —Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man and No One Belongs Here More Than You

“O’Neill is an extraordinary writer, and her new novel is exquisite.” —Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

Set in Montreal and New York between the wars, a spellbinding story about two orphans whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future, from bestselling, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Heather O’Neill

The internationally acclaimed author returns with a stunning national bestseller in The Lonely Hearts Hotel. Exquisitely imagined and hypnotically told, it is a love story with the power of legend.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their true 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 for the rich, 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, both escape into the city’s underworld, where they must use their uncommon gifts to survive without each other. Ruthless and unforgiving, Montreal in the 1930s is no place for song and dance, depicted by O’Neill as “a voyage across Montreal, from realms of innocence and districts of longing to zones of cruelty” (National Post). When Rose and Pierrot finally reunite they’ll go to extreme lengths to make their childhood dreams come true.

About the Authors

Heather O'Neill

HEATHER O’NEILL is a novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Daydreams of Angels, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in two consecutive years, and has won CBC Canada Reads, the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Danuta Gleed Award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there today with her daughter.

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Julia Whelan, winner of twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards, won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Romance Narration in 2013 and was twice a finalist for an Audie in 2015. She is a former child actor who has appeared in multiple films and television shows, most notably ABC s "Once and Again". After receiving her college degree, she returned to the film industry and is also a writer. Her audiobook credits include memoir, nonfiction, romance, supernatural thrillers, young adult, and adult fiction.

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Reader Reviews

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Beautifully written

This story is intriguing, sad, beautiful, and, ultimately, a little bit tragic. But, the writing – oh, the writing! I’m absolutely besotted with O’Neill’s writing style. Her style is almost poetic, and her imagination shines through her imagery:

He doused his words in alcohol and set them on fire.

His white carnation boutonniere looked like a crumpled-up love poem.

This is a roller coaster of emotion and a page turner. It’s well worth the read. I strongly encourage readers to try, as best they can, to get through as much of this book as possible before giving up on it.

Also, remember that not all stories involve people with perfect lives. This book is quite honest about life in the early 1900’s – poverty, abuse, drugs, women being treated like property, etc. I’ve seen a lot of reviews where people quit early in the book because of all the despair, but the despair is part of life and part of the beauty of this book.

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