The Lonely Hearts Hotel

  • by Heather O'Neill
  • Narrated by Julia Whelan
  • 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans - in love with each other since they can remember - whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one's origins. It might also take true love.
Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. 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 theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.
With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O'Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Superb book, story, narrator!

1t was a ltl disheartening at first and all the things tht happened to Rose ...but it really did turn into a very great book!
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- ematnau

IMPECCABLE BEAUTIFUL Writing, Interesting Story

What did you like best about The Lonely Hearts Hotel? What did you like least?

The author truly has a gift crafting sentences that feel like poetry. If you like flowery, descriptive writing (as I do) you will find yourself pausing and replaying certain aspects of this book because they are so beautiful.


Would you recommend The Lonely Hearts Hotel to your friends? Why or why not?

I was really torn on this book. While I thought it was very well written and the story was interesting enough, I found so much unnecessary and somewhat disturbing sexual content. I am not a prude or afraid of graphic sexual content but much of it felt perverted without aiding the storyline. I would recommend this book to some but definitely not to young readers or to anyone who could not handle the pedophilic content.


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- Jordyn

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-07-2017
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio