Emylia Hall is an author whose previous three novels have all been outstanding for me. I often think how anxious it must make an author feel when they have an expectation to live up to from their readers because reading is subjective isn’t it! I loved The Thousand Lights Hotel. It’s one of my favourite reads this year. At the time of writing my review you can grab a Kindle copy for ONLY 99p! Don’t miss it!
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Headline Review (13 July 2017)
When Kit loses her mother in tragic circumstances, she feels drawn to finally connect with the father she has never met. That search brings her to the Thousand Lights Hotel, the perfect holiday escape perched upon a cliff on the island of Elba. Within this idyllic setting a devastating truth is brought to light: shaking the foundations upon which the hotel is built, and shattering the lives of the people within it.
A heartbreaking story of loss, betrayal, and redemption, told with all the warmth and beauty of an Italian summer.
The tangled webs we weave …
Kit has been led to believe her father is dead and yet finding the courage to ask her mum Rosa one more time about him as her mum lies terminally ill, she finds out he didn’t. Leaving the hospital with the letters, she is able to trace him and using her job as a travel writer as a screen, travels to Elba to see if she can piece things together.
Valentino has been on Elba for nearly 30 years, in the beginning renovating a building that becomes the popular Hotel Mille Luci. His reason for being is looking after his guests. Knowing before they do what they want and then doing his utmost in providing it. His son, 30 yo Oliviero creates amazing dishes in the kitchen using local produce. He’s popular with guests but always keeps his distance.
There is so much to enjoy about this story. The setting is magnificent. The food, customs and guests of Hotel Mille Luci all combine to make you feel as if you’re pace of life has slowed down, having escaped from the daily routine. Fabulous characters and the intrigue and mystery … trying to figure out what Valentino and Oliviero are hiding and not acknowledging but powerful enough to have shaped their lives. And then there’s Kit with the legacy from her mum who didn’t believe in love and reinforced the message that they didn’t need a man in their lives. A lonely character who is trying to find roots and who needs to belong, to know the truth. Who needs that connection to ‘other.’
There are a couple of twists in the story too! The first one I didn’t see coming and to be honest, I only realised the truth of the second because of Oliviero’s dilemma. It wouldn’t have crossed my mind otherwise!
Emylia Hall’s writing is powerful – not the words themselves but how she uses those words. They give a reader everything they need to build that image, to become that person, to experience whatever it is alongside the characters. Effortlessly it seems I become involved with the story from the beginning until I am the story. That’s powerful. That’s what I call magic 🙂
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