Book Review: Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan

From the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes - a novel of mothers and daughters, families and secrets and the astonishing power of friendship.

Title: Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel
Author: Ruth Hogan
Published: February 7th 2019 by Two Roads

Blurb: Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. 

She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone's magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits - staff and guests alike.

But Tilly's childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she'd ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning.

Now, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother's unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda goes back to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unravelling the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel and discovers that her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all...

Mothers and daughters... their story can be complicated... it can also turn out to have a happy ending.

Review: With Queenie's Malone's Paradise Hotel, Ruth Hogan is back with her gentle style and her complex and intriguing characters. This story is narrated by Tilda but in two different times, when she was a child (Tilly) and first moved to Brighton with her mom and now, already an adult, when she goes back to Brighton after her mom's death. Both storylines alternate, so little by little, you get to know what happened back then and how it affected her current life. 

I found this structure very intriguing and enjoyable to read. Young Tilly was a very interesting character and I liked how inquisitive and naive at the same time she was. She liked eavesdropping adult conversations and drawing her own conclusions which made me think a lot about how easy it is to misunderstand a situation or someone. 

Tilda as an adult was a lot warier of people and not interested in really living, just surviving. I couldn't figure her out at the beginning but as I found out more and more about her I got to understand her better. 

I enjoyed the most the scenes set in the hotel when Tilly was a kid as the cast of characters living at the hotel were great, especially Queenie. But there were a few moments in Tilda's adult timeline that really touched me. 

This story is both sad and heart-warming and Ruth Hogan has created another beautiful and inspiring tale that centers on friendship, family and mental health and reminds us how important it is to talk to each other. 

Rating: 4 stars

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.

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