I want to make the (in da) book club joke so badly right but I’ve done it thrice times thrice already and I like what we have going on here.
Let’s talk about some books today! Funnily enough I chose two about hotel life, and one about memory. The memory part’s not the funny part, the hotel life is the funny part. Maybe it’s not funny.
These three reads stuck out, not only because one is the freshest-off-the-press by my all-time favorite author (do I really still need to convince you to read Elin? Ignore the covers, they’re mostly cheesy. The writing is everything.), one is a story that’s fascinating and puts your mind in that what-if-this-happened-to-me state, and one is just straight up touching. And then of course we’ll talk about what’s on my night stand and what else I need to get for this summer!
Okie doke, let’s dive in.
The Maid: so we’re starting with the touching one. And one that focuses on the scandals and secrets of the hotel industry! (which by the way, if anyone here works in the hotel biz, I need your best gossip. Tell me everything. You can stay anonymous of course, but if there is a secret story lurking in your head and heart and it needs to be released, consider this your opportunity. I won’t tell a soul.)
This book was SO sweet. The main character is a highly-functioning autistic young maid named Molly Gray, who finds herself overly trusting, overly helpful, and in the middle of a deep dark scandal when she enters a hotel suite and finds one of their most esteemed (and jerk face) guests dead in his bed. DEAD. In his bed, dude. She handles the scenario the best way she could, troubled with social skills and the nuances of verbal cues, and it just becomes this huge, huge mess. Who to trust? Who knows about this? Is someone framing MOLLY? Does everyone know? Did she do it? Hold on. You think she did it, don’t you?
Well, you’ll have to read it. It’s got a great twist at the end.
I say it’s sweet because of her innocent yet standoffish way of interacting with people. She’s a smart girl, don’t be fooled. And of course it’s sweet because of a delicate romance that’s weaved in and it’s just touching, okay?
I loved this book. I truly did. It’s a quick read because everyone is a suspect and you immediately hate every single person. But you must know.
The Maid – get in that.
What Alice Forgot: Okay, WHOA.
Just imagine that you’re on a treadmill at the gym one morning and you lose your footing and slip off. And then you wake up, on the floor, on your back and it’s ten years ago. You’re engaged, pregnant with your first child and about to close on an old fixer-upper. But like, it’s not ten years ago. It is now. And in fact you’re actually going through a divorce, have three (ahem, spoiled) kids and have completely changed as a person and everyone has a chip on their shoulder about who you’ve become. You’ve lost ten entire years of your life in your memory.
Well, that’s another book, not this one.
Just kidding it’s this one. I think, I forgot.
Just kidding, I will relax.
Also! Imagine seeing your family members and how drastically THEY’VE changed (and aged), physically and emotionally. It is just crazy.
But this is the thing: when Alice wakes up, she has the mindset of 1998, filled with hope, unjaded about her situation, in love. So her natural emotional reaction (besides shock at how everyone looks so different. And MEETING HER KIDS I mean what!), is the way she felt back then. She was . . . nicer. More excited and ambitious. She loved herself more. So it’s a wild ride when she realized how much her life has changed, how unpleasant and cynical she’s become, as pieces slowly start to come back.
It’s a fantastic story. You must squeeze it in this summer.
The Hotel Nantucket: Eeeeeeee!
This book has everything. Elin’s exquisite writing, her relatable characters, syrupy summer romances, surprising scandals, town gossip, a luxury (but historical!) hotel, descriptive food that will have your face sliding off in a river of drool, beloved characters from older novels (hello, Blue Bistro!), and a ghost. A GHOST. But Elin isn’t cheesy with her ghost. She does her right.
In short, there’s a new hotel in town. One with charm, promise, unbelievable amenities, a friendly (ahem, sort of) staff, all backed and bought by a London billionaire. People are skeptical of its impending success, only because it’s been through some rough times over the last 100 years. Plus the rumor about an affair and a fire and a ghost. Is it true? Oh, Grace will swoon you. Trust me.
The dramas and overlaps and misunderstandings are classic Elin. The character names are just as crazy, as she always does. I truly enjoyed visualizing this grand (but boutique-ish) hotel come together in all it hydrangea blue, oyster shell tile and copper this and that. Lavish, I tell you!
When can I book a stay, in other words.
The Hotel Nantucket – it is a MUST for this summer.
Okay, so I started Emily Giffin’s newest one Meant to Be, and I can tell (based on her note in the back, and from what you’ve said) that it’s loosely based on JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and their story, which I’m one million percent into. I don’t know the grit of them. I know only Carolyn as a style icon with impeccable fashion, JFK’s hair (and his fam, obv), and the crash. I remember the plane crash like it was yesterday. Not that this book will be about a plane crash, but I’m intrigued at what Giffin does with Cate and Joe. Have you read it yet?
I also still have The Family (mafia!) and Twenty Years Later (thriller!) on my nightstand, which I will get to. But tell me what other juicy summer books I need to make happen before the end of September. Or any books, it matters not. What about Book Lovers – is it so good? What else what else?!
Your turn, what’s been your favorite(s) lately? Spill it.
Also, the hotel people, I’m ready for your gossip when you are. Just let me get my coffee.