Set in contemporary New Orleans but working its way back in time, A Small Hotel chronicles the relationship between Michael and Kelly Hayes, who have decided to separate after 20 years of marriage. The book begins on the day that the Hays are to finalize their divorce. Kelly is due to be in court, but instead she drives to New Orleans and checks into the hotel where she and Michael fell in love some 20 years earlier and where she must now make a decision that will forever affect her, Michael, and their 19-year-old daughter.
Butler masterfully weaves scenes of the present with memories from both Michael and Kelly, showing two people deeply in love but struggling with their own inabilities to express this love.
©2011 Robert Olen Butler (P)2011 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"A sleek, erotic, and suspenseful drama about men who cannot say the word love and the women they harm...Butler executes a plot twist of profound proportions in this gorgeously controlled, unnerving, and beautifully revealing tale of the consequences of emotional withholding." (Booklist)
"[A] deliciously, unapologetically romantic novel...[Butler's] empathetic, precise writing flirts with melodrama but never feels hackneyed. In less skillful hands, this story would be a guilty pleasure. Instead, it's just a pleasure." (O Magazine)
"With mesmerizing detail, Butler excavates layers of memory and illuminates moments of both tenderness and alienation." (The New Yorker)
I had to know how it ended. The author read it and the reading was a bit slow.
The characters were interesting but I got tired of experiencing their every breath and thought.
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