The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
In 2014 I came across a book that forever changed me and introduced me to one of my favorite authors. The book was Station Eleven and the author was Emily St John Mandel. Since then, I’ve read all of Mandel’s other books, and have fallen completely in love with their gorgeous prose. And today I’m so excited to be able to give my thoughts on The Glass Hotel.
The Glass Hotel follows Vincent, a bartender at the Hotel Caiette in rural Vancouver Island as she meets Jonathon Alkaitis, the owner of the hotel and a major financial services company. From there she moves to New York to be with him. Thirteen years later, Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a container ship. The Glass Hotel weaves together a brilliant story of corruption and greed, how the lives of several people intersect in a Ponzi scheme, and the reach of a single event.
The Glass Hotel is hauntingly beautiful. I didn’t love it quite as much as I loved Station Eleven, but I enjoyed it for the same reasons: gorgeous prose, vivid characters, and a thoughtfully woven plot that takes place over the course of several decades. Mandel has such a deep understanding of human motivations that she pours into her characters.
If you’re picking up The Glass Hotel because you enjoyed Station Eleven for the character-driven storyline, The Glass Hotel is for you. But if you loved it for the science fiction and futuristic elements, maybe pick up something else.
Thank you to Knopf Publishing Company for gifting me with an advanced copy of The Glass Hotel! All opinions in this review are my own.