Many years ago, Iris Greenfeder's mother disappeared.
They were living at Hotel Equinox where Iris's father was the manager and where her mother wrote delicate, powerful fantasies.
Then one day, she took a train and never returned. She was found dead in a hotel fire in Brooklyn, registered as another man's wife. Returning to Hotel Equinox, Iris needs to find the truth about her mother; there are some clues in her writing, and others in the memories of those who knew her.
Kay Greenfeder, it seems, was a women without a past.
But as Iris begins to untangle the secrets of years before, she realises that the past was very different to what she had believed, and much more dangerous...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 448 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 01/01/2004
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099435624
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by SmithSJ01
I looked forward to opening this based on the quotations and blurb. I was very much looking forward to a thriller (as stated on the cover). Sadly, it disappointed on this front from early on but I was convinced if I kept turning the pages it would become one. It did have an air of mystery to it but for me a thriller is something that plunges the reader into a situation; this merely dangled a few titbits in front of your face. The narrator was difficult to engage with. There was nothing scintillating or captivating about her and when it was the search for her past that we were going on, this wasn’t a good sign. Everything is very convenient for both author and narrator; plans falling into place etc that it become unconvincing and I felt myself counting the pages to the end. I don’t always easily enjoy stories within stories and this was no exception. However I can usually find how they link to the story itself. This was just Goodman trying to show of another poor skill that didn’t work and in the end I skipped them, they were awful to read! Because the novel is plot, rather than character, driven it seems Goodman knew which path she was following and didn’t worry about filling in the gaps or smoothing the edges down to get us there. It lacked care and attention.The reason for two stars instead of one star is simple – there is a good storyline in there, it just needs another author or a firmer editor. It shouldn’t be pitched as a thriller and needed stronger characters.
Review by silvercowrie
This story is based around the theme of traditional stories being passed from mother to daughter - stories that I could relate to. I’m familiar with the Tale of the Selkie. Selkie is the Orcadian word for seal and I’ve always thought of seals as selkies and so, from the off, the story had captured me into what became increasingly woven threads which unravelled through uncovering the mysteries of Iris’ mother’s life and death. I thought that the element of myth and story telling added a very different flavour to what could just have been a mystery-type novel.I thought that this made a good read with lots of strong well written characters in a great setting. At times it was a bit over-dramatic and difficult to hang on the the significance of the main underlying tale. Perhaps it had just a few too many twists and turns, but there was plenty to keep me guessing.