The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Heather O'Neill

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher *

The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Heather O'Neill
Author: Heather O'Neill
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pages: 400
Format: DRC
ISBN-10: 0735213739
ISBN-13: 9780735213739
Publisher: various formats
The Lonely Hearts Hotel

2 stars

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.
Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city's underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theatre nor the underworld will ever look the same.

Two fates, two lives. Together they are magical and the love is so obvious, jumping from the page that as a reader I could understand why other people there would be jealous. There are a few beautiful things in this book but there are so many disturbing things that I cannot say I enjoyed reading it. The first chapter talks about the conceiving of Pierrot and Rose. This is very described very detailed. Next in the orphanage we move into chapters full of abuse and people using sex to overpower both these children and later on the adults. I did not like the way these situations were described. It disturbed me big time. There are many details on the abuse and how it happens but little space for the emotions that come with it even though they influence decisions. I feel going that way would have made the story really magical.
On the character site the story is a bit difficult too. Rose is a strong and smart woman. She was trying to make something of her life and it was sad that she ended up so bitter and disappointed. Filled with hatred and revenge. Pierrot is a sad character. Though he makes some wrong decisions it is clear to see he is a victim too. His naivete started to get annoying at some point but I did like how things ended with him.
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