Quirky Title, Wearisome Prose: The Pink Hotel

Product DetailsThe Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard

This premise of this novel has all the ingredients of the sort of chick lit book I enjoy reading: a girl travels from London to LA in order to make some discoveries about her mother’s mysterious life by meeting her ex-husbands. Cue mystery, intrigue and perhaps some heartbreak. So I thought…

The first surprise I had was that the girl who flies to LA (and whose name I honestly cannot remember, if it was even mentioned) was only seventeen and no real means or life experience to do this. Further to this, she was quite the tomboy and liked to live a rather grungy existence. I felt this girl would have been more suited to her own coming of age YA story. I just could not follow her thought processes or decision making such as not introducing herself at the wake and then stealing the suitcase from her mother’s room and wearing her clothes around town.

The Pink Hotel of the title is the hotel owned by the most recent ex-husband of the mother. She puts some clues together and finds other exes but I just didn’t find the clues or the characters interesting. I would read a few pages and have difficulty remember what had actually happened. When I flicked back I realised the answer was, ‘not much’.

I must say that the flashbacks to her life in London were realistic and gritty and it’s a shame this writing didn’t permeate the story more. I think the author wants to show the sleazy side of a broken and uncaring city but she didn’t make LA come alive for me. This is a real shame as it is a dynamic city with a pulse and its own unique character.

I have read some other reviews that hint at a twist at the end of the novel but the more days I left the book sitting there, the less compelled I was to discover the revelation for myself. (Interestingly, I did also notice that many of the reviews did’t actually mention much detail about the story, just how great it was… Perhaps I am over-analysing the reviews?)

The Pink Hotel: Left unfinished.

Thank you to Macmillan-Picador for a copy of the title to review. I really did want to enjoy it!

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