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The Glass Hotel

by Emily St. John Mandel

Chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favourite books of 2020 and named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, NPR, TIME, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, the BBC, the New York Public Library, The Economist, BookPage, Fortune, LitHub, Glamour, Elle, Real Simple, Parade, Thrillist, Electric Literature, Good Housekeeping, and Insider, I think its safe to say you should give this book a go!

A captivating novel of money, beauty, crime and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.

Atmospheric and dreamy, the Glass Hotel of the title – the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace –  is set on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island.  Its here that the beautiful yet remote bartender, Vincent meets New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis and agrees to a life together.  That same day, Vincent’s half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.

Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the high life of Manhattan, and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.

“The pace is slow, almost dream-like, but this is ambitious, imaginative and highly recommended” -The Bookseller

Mandel writes beautifully, saying so much with such economy, and she makes a complicated plot involving so many faces and places feel effortless… Many of its threads are left untied, but somehow this is never unsatisfying: instead, the fates of those characters become benign ghosts of your own, ensuring Mandel’s extraordinary novel haunts long after you’ve finished it. – Evening Standard


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