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Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard

Pink Hotel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Anna Stothard

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107None114,466 (3.73)26
Title:Pink Hotel
Authors:Anna Stothard
Info:Alma Publishing Company (2011), Paperback, 300 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (2011)



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Lily is dead. Lily’s daughter (I can find no other name for her) knows little about her mother. She sneaks into the pink hotel her mother ran for her mother’s wake. Impulsively, she steals her mother’s red suitcase. And thus begins the adventure, the noir mystery that is this book.

Mystery is a solid one-word summary of this story. Lily’s daughter doesn’t know much about her mother. Lily’s daughter’s dad doesn’t know much about Lily’s daughter. Lily’s daughter doesn’t know much about herself. She wanders around the pink hotel and the other places important to her mother and gets to know a little about the mother she never knew and the people her mother loved and even a little about herself.

I liked this book very much. ( )
  debnance | Jan 4, 2014 |
The Pink Hotel by the young author Anna Stothard is just one rung up from a YA novel. A young woman arrives from London to attend the funeral of her mother whom she has hardly known, and begins a search for her father and people who can tell her more about her mother. This search, and the structure of the story, is conveniently facilitated by her theft of a suitcase which contains some of her mothers' personal belongings and letters. Each item or letter is the peg for another adventure. The setting of the story, and the backdrop of her search is the wild, lawless scene of Los Angeles of the US, as the story unfolds beginning with a sex-and-drugs lecherous party in her mother's the private apartment at the Pink Hotel.

The novel has all the characteristics of a badly written, style and thoughtless bravura by an adolescent author discovered by an editor who needs to score with a talent-in-the-bud. It is a stir-fry of sex, drugs, expletives and brainless story. ( )
  edwinbcn | Dec 1, 2013 |
I was sent an uncorrected Digital Galley of The Pink Hotel, by Anna Stothard by NetGalley.com in return for my thoughts and feedback. The novel started off well and captured my attention from the first page. The narrator of the story was a seventeen year old British girl who when the story opens was attending a drug and alcohol fueled party in California at the Pink Hotel given in honor of the memory of her mother who abandoned the girl when she was three years old. Her mother died in a motorcycle accident. The Pink Hotel was owned by her mother, and though no one attending the party knew who she was, the girl circulated the party trying to get clues to learn about her mother. The girl stumbled upon her mother's upstairs apartment where she found a suitcase filled with mementos, photos, letters, and personal papers. The daughter stole the suitcase with the intention of getting to know her mother and glean a glimpse into her life.

The narrator is nameless, and this was part of the problem. The reader didn't feel a real connection to any of the characters. I wish the items from the suitcase would have provided more insight, but there were neither enough clues nor enough people that truly knew the mother to make the journey a success. At some point the story took a turn and became more about the daughter than the search to find out about her mother.

Although the premise of the story was a good one, I needed more than this story offered. ( )
  2LZ | Apr 6, 2013 |
The Pink Hotel, by Anna Stothard, was originally published in the UK in late 2011; it was long-listed for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, but for whatever reason it wasn’t set to publish in the U.S. until this April. You’d think that an Orange Prize long-list would be enough to get international attention…but you know those women’s prizes.

The Pink Hotel is the story of a nameless female protagonist (I looked everywhere and couldn’t figure out her name) who comes to L.A. from London after her mother, who left when the protagonist was three, has been killed in a motorcycle crash. She steals a suitcase full of her mother’s clothes from her wake and then sort of wanders around LA tracking down people her mother knew.

The protagonist [wow, it is awkward trying to talk about her without a name] is a quiet girl; she’s only 17 and manages to mostly stay out of trouble in LA, which is impressive. She does sleep with a couple guys—like her **spoilers** mother’s first husband and this other dude that photographed her mother at one point **end spoilers**. There’s a mystery element as well—why is her mother’s widower so desperate to get this suitcase back? Why does she keep getting mugged? What’s David’s relationship to her mother, anyway? Where is she getting the money to buy food, anyway?

In between all this craziness, Stothard writes some absolutely gorgeous sentences. Like take this one—“The way she buttered bread for chip butties was like a man putting suntan lotion on his new bride, or a priest at the rosary.”

Or this really long one: “Grandpa taught me the word “quiddity”, which is like “essence”, only better. It’s a word that describes exactly what is so compelling about good words. A good word captures the quiddity of its meaning, the dripiness of dripping and the phosphorescence of a phosphorescent light. The geckoness of being a gecko. The trouble is, in the day-to-day reality of life, things are so much more complex. It’s hard to pinpoint the quiddity of people or relationships or conversations, because as soon as you do, it will shift slightly, and the quiddity will be different.”

I love that word—quiddity. I’ve never heard it before, but I’m going to find a way to use it if only for the look of perplexity on my victim.

Oh, and have I mentioned that this was published when Stothard was only 27? Or that her first novel was published when she was only 19? No big.

As a whole, I felt like it showed a lot of promise—but maybe failed to deliver on it. The ending was pretty cliché and inevitable. I won’t share, but I can say that I figured it out about halfway through—at least part of the reveal. I would absolutely pick up the next book that this author wrote, though, if just to see if the promise was fulfilled that time around.

Releasing in the U.S. April 23, 2013. I received this title for free from NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review. ( )
  giboppmar | Mar 30, 2013 |
I liked the unusual scenario of this novel - seventeen year old girl, the result of a teenage pregnancy, travels to Los Angeles on the trail of her estranged and recently dead mother. I liked the grit underlying the story as we hear in small bursts about the protagonist's upbringing in London and the effects of having been abandoned by her mother at the age of 3.

We never get to learn her name (yawn). I suppose the case could be made in a novel about finding one's identity for using this literary device, but since Daphne du Maurier tried it everyone's been getting in on the act and it's lost its cachet. Heck, just name her!!

The narrative is atmospheric and intelligent - in places the atmosphere became a bit overpowering and made the plot go saggy but it picked up at the end and I had prickles running down the back of my neck as I read the final sections. Okay, so the sceptic in me says this seventeen year old was way too mature to be believed, but leaving that aside this was a pretty good reading experience. ( )
  jayne_charles | Jan 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
The Pink Hotel is about another teenager, who flies from London to Los Angeles to discover more about her biological mother, Lily, who has died young....Stothard is at her most acute when observing the people inhabiting Tinseltown; having transported her English heroine there, it's a pity not to see more of the movie business. Better at comedy than anomie, she has an ear for a distinctive phrase (as when describing "the edgy, watery sound of teenage girls laughing") and dialogue, although her ending feels in need of a Ross Macdonald-type twist. This touching, convoluted love-story is shot through with a distinctive talent, but it is the second novel of a writer still teetering on the edge of the adult world. Next time, readers will hope she is fully engaged with it.
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Her bedroom reeked of cigarette ash and stale perfume.
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amazon uk :Product Description
A seventeen-year-old London girl flies to Los Angeles for the funeral of her mother Lily, from whom she had been separated in her childhood. After stealing a suitcase of letters, clothes and photographs from her mum's bedroom at the top of a hotel on Venice Beach, the girl spends her summer travelling around Los Angeles returning love letters and photographs to the men who had known her mother. As she discovers more about Mandy's past and tries to re-enact her life, she comes to question the foundations of her own personality.
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A tale of finding love in the most unlikely places, 'The Pink Hotel' describes the life of a 17-year-old girl, who leaves London for California following the death of her estranged mother.

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