The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel by Heather O'NeillThe Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel by Heather O'Neill

The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel

byHeather O'Neill

Hardcover | February 7, 2017

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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 the bestselling, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author.

Exquisitely imagined and hypnotically told, The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. Set in the early part of the 20th Century, it is an unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose fortune hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to escape one's origins. It might also take true love.

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 1930's is no place for song and dance. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes, the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make those dream come true. After Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls hit the stage and the alleys, the underworld will never look the same.

With extraordinary storytelling, musical language, and an extravagantly realized world, acclaimed author Heather O'Neill enchants us with her best novel yet — one so magical there is no escaping its spell.

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Heather O'Neill is a Canadian novelist, poet, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist. She was born in Montreal, Quebec. O'Neill published her debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, in 2006. The novel was then selected for the 2007 edition of Canada Reads. The book also won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was sho...
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Title:The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:February 7, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443435864

ISBN - 13:9781443435864

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok i love this book and would 10/10 recommend to anyone interested.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written! This was easily one of the most beautifully-written books I've read in a while! I savoured every single page of this novel and took my time (rather than speed through it), and I'm glad I did because this is truly a book to be savoured. If you enjoy stories about the human condition, love, relationships, horror, and tales of survival in dire times, this book is definitely for you! That ending was absolutely marvelous and nearly made me weep (and that doesn't happen very often)!
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing. Love the way O'Neil writes.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not for me Well-written but the subject matter just wasn't for me... made me uncomfortable and I couldn't finish it
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical Great story. Love the of early 1900's montreal
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok it wasn't anything special
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing An unusual plot and engaging characters.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic A great story, fantastic characters, a highly recommended read
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An interesting tragic love story I really enjoy this author. She has a darkly beautiful way of telling a story. O'Neil describes this time period of Montreal in a tragic, realistic way and I found it very captivating. The main characters are so unusual and unlike anything I have read before. I didn't love this one as much as I did her first novel: Lullabies for Little Criminals, but if you are a fan of O'Neil's work than this one is a book for you.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Magic!! I fell in love with this book and could not put it down. It is a page-turner that you don't mind losing sleep for, but also don't want to end. This book engulfs your world and the characters and magic come to life. You even fall in love with the villains! It is a rich story of fate, full of passion, life, magic, loss, pain, and simple happiness. When I finished reading, my first thought was that I could read this all over again.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from okay a very interesting read. all the elements are spot on
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from One star Lewd and crass and not in the good way. Such distasteful garbage.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unique and Unusual 3.5. I honestly don't know how to describe this book. Similar to other reviews on here, I have to 100% agree when I say that "The lonely hearts hotel" is unlike anything I've read before. It is beautifully written and captures a quirky, magical and loving relationship between a boy and girl who grow up together in an orphanage. They have such a deep fascination with each other and a strong connection that doesn't not weaken despite their separation. They go on to have relationships albeit superficial ones but keep each other close in their hearts until they are reunited to do what they do best. The author does a great job of integrating the history of the times (I.e: the Great Depression, prohibition, etc) into a story that contains magic.Each sentence in this book is like a piece of magic but simple and beautiful enough to understand. Heather O'Neill truly shows that there is beauty in simplicity.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unique and Unusual 3.5. I honestly don't know how to describe this book. Similar to other reviews on here, I have to 100% agree when I say that "The lonely hearts hotel" is unlike anything I've read before. It is beautifully written and captures a quirky, magical and loving relationship between a boy and girl who grow up together in an orphanage. They have such a deep fascination with each other and a strong connection that doesn't not weaken despite their separation. They go on to have relationships albeit superficial ones but keep each other close in their hearts until they are reunited to do what they do best. The author does a great job of integrating the history of the times (I.e: the Great Depression, prohibition, etc) into a story that contains magic.Each sentence in this book is like a piece of magic but simple and beautiful enough to understand. Heather O'Neill truly shows that there is beauty in simplicity.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read I enjoyed this novel, and would definitely recommend it to a friend.
Date published: 2017-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully tragic This book drew me in with its elegent writing and magical atmosphere. Even though the story itself was quite tragic I left the book with a smile on my face. I would definitely recommend this book!
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful! I had such high expectations for this novel, but within the first 10 pages I was so disappointed. The story went nowhere, there were WAY too many highly graphic sex scenes, and the characters were flat. I never thought that I could actually hate a book, but I hate this book! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Most excellent! A fantastic read. Heather O'Neill has done it again!
Date published: 2017-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new favorite! Heather O'Neill has an incredible way with words. The reader is immediately immersed into the hearts and minds of the protagonists, not because they are familiar but because they are perfectly brought to life. The humour is clever, creative, dark and sometimes joyful. I've never been so charmed by the seedy underbelly of society.
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another incredible story from Heather O'Neill Heather O'Neill conjures up the most beautiful yet dark stories, and this one is no exception. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from cant' wait to read it So looking forward to this one!
Date published: 2017-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Stark yet gripping A very stark and gritty tale and yet it tells the story of Rose and Pierrot's lives in a gripping and at times charming manner. You will champion them on to the very last page. Definitely much more of an engaging story than I had anticipated.
Date published: 2017-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! One of my favourite books of 2017 so far. A wonderful story full of poetry and beautiful imagery. Pick this one up asap!
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Novel This book was recommended to me by an indigo staff member and I was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be one of my favourite books of the year. I was constantly impressed by the lyrical way in which O'Neill writes and as a resident of Montreal I loved reading about my city.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Was really impressed with the plot and characters. Well done.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark Tale IT's a very good story though it's darker and can be quite gritty, sad and tragic at times. Deals with abuse, addiction, violence, ambition at the cost of anything else, love and death. The characters are vivid, the lovers are star-crossed. It's not a fluffy love story and the language is a bit crude as suits the situations. And yet it's compelling and draws you into the world of 1930s Montreal for these two characters. Hard to put down.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Totally loved it, what a great book, a real eye opener. Really fantastic stuff in here. So happy we got it, even works as a gift. Definitely going into our library, in our permanent collection. What more can I say, we are are truly pleased.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark & tragic love story but oh so Canadian! Wow, Heather O'Neil is such an amazing storyteller that has the ability to transport us to the very dark, dangerous & heart wrenching crevices of our mind...all told within an amazing Lyrical Tragedy/Love story. Adored, The Girl Who was Saturday Night... but The Lonely Hearts Hotel demands so much more of it's reader as it dares us to peak behind the curtain & embrace these flawed & romantic characters that exist outside the norms of society....during the Depression era when survival was a daily struggle. Great read!
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book Never read anything from this author enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark very dark book but it is amazing #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring The story was well put together and gave enough of a backstory that you didn't feel like you were missing anything. I couldn't put the book down. It was clever and very entertaining. Great read!
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The story lives up to the title of the book. Intriguing, sad, beautiful, and, ultimately, a little bit of tragic thrown in there- that is what you're getting out of this one. The author tells it whimsically so to keep things interesting.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark and Gritty This is a great read, but it is on the dark side. Be prepared for passages that you may need to skip over due to graphic content.
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I was hooked from the first page. Very captivating... Canadian author for the win!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super! Everyone should read this novel, it is highly recommended that it is read!
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible O'Neill is a master craftsman. She drew me into a vivid world and I was hooked immediately.
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow I went to listen to Heather O'Neill interviewed at the Toronto Reference Library last night and bought a signed copy of The Lonely Hearts Hotel. the author was witty and engaging. I began reading the book when I got home and have to say that from the beginning I was "all in". I just finished the novel now and wish the novel was not quite so brilliant, entertaining, funny, and sometimes droll all at the same time. the book is set during the Depression in Montreal and introduces us to the underworld that Oneill's father lived in during that time and sometimes related to her as bedtime stories. I can't help comparing O'Neill to Mordecai Richler in that they both have Montreal so often as a base of their stories, and in writing style. Please Heather, please move to Toronto and write one about us.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Darker, Grittier Night Circus The writing is lovely; O'Neill's prose is both lyrical and blunt. So too, is the story, of two talented orphans whose love for each other and natural performing ability catapult them through a harrowing childhood and into a destiny of their own making. It is not a light book or for those easily offended; the story is saturated with sex, drugs, and the criminal underground. But I love that this book occupies the grey area between black and white. The characters are flawed, their situations are dire, and the story is so much better for it.
Date published: 2016-10-03

Editorial Reviews

“[These stories are] united by the now-unmistakable O’Neill stamp: compassionately drawn characters from society’s fringes acting out tales of hardship, resilience and sometimes redemption, all told in deceptively simple prose - nobody, but nobody, does simile quite like O’Neill - that at its best attains the level of music.”