In honor of Read an E-Book week, I bought and read this E-book:
Queenie Malone is a flamboyant character, and her hotel and its occupants are as outrageous as she is. Reminding me of the line from the movie AI, “I see dead people,” we meet Tilly, the daughter, and explore her relationship with her mother (who in real time has recently died). Chapters vary from those told by Tilly, the child, then Tilda, the adult. As the book opens, Tilda comes “home” to deal with her mother’s estate. She meets well-drawn interesting characters, but also can see characters that others in the real-time story cannot. She also has a disturbing habit of lighting matches which grew out of a childhood obsession of playing with fire. The story is tinged with the supernatural, and family mysteries appear and are resolved as well.
The themes of mothers and daughters, “choosing” one’s family, and the “disappearance” of fathers round out a riveting narrative. As in Hogan’s other novel, The Keeper of Lost Things, the reader learns that, “It’s never too late to write your own happy ending.”
The surprise at the end is less of a revelation than a gradual, “Oh, that explains so many things” as the reader nears the finish line. Queenie is an exceptionally well written book, and I highly recommend it.