Hotel de Dream

Emma Tennant
Hotel de Dream Cover

Hotel de Dream

Ann Walker

An odd, slightly disturbing, and, I think, ultimately very memorable novel. In some ways it reminded me of Cloud Atlas, though in this book it is overt, and not merely implied, how the characters' stories begin to merge together.

A synopsis: let me try. A group of impoverished souls live together in a seedy, decrepit London boardinghouse (glorified with the name "Hotel Westringham"). Each of them seems so lost in utter misery and depression that they continually seek to escape into sleep. This becomes their undoing as their dreams begin to merge together, with little rhyme or reason, but with such vividness that it becomes increasingly unclear what is dream and what is reality.

The writing is richly and sometimes horrifyingly vivid. The events of the novel seem to make little sense (as dreams make little sense, too). The whole thing had a sort of train-wreck quality: I just couldn't stop reading.

To be completely honest, I bought this because 1) it qualified for the challenge, and 2) it was $1.99 on the Kindle. Overall, I would say this slender novel is certainly worth a look.