Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan. (2019).
**3 out of 5 stars**
Tilly was a bright, out-going little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved living in Queenie Malone’s magnificent Paradise Hotel in Brighton with it’s family of misfits and never forgave her mother for sending her away.
Now Tilda is a grown woman but still hurt by her mother’s actions. Her only friend is her dog. But after her mother dies, Tilda goes back to Brighton and with the help of Queenie unravels the mystery of her exile and the true history of her mother.
This novel features an eccentric main character in Tilda. Half of the narrative is Tilda’s current timeline, the other half is Tilda when she was a young child (helpfully made obvious by the child chapters being titled ‘Tilly’ and the adult ones ‘Tilda’). Tilly the child was quite interesting and quirky, Tilda the adult had obsessive tendencies and a whole lot of emotional damage. In all honesty, I didn’t really warm to Tilda much and preferred the Tilly chapters. The hotel and the local pier was described beautifully and sounded really appealing to me. After learning Tilda’s mother’s backstory I really felt for her, and I did like the addition of some sections from her diary which gave her a voice.
Overall: a pleasant enough quirky book but just didn’t really get going for me to really enjoy it. I wanted to love it but just didn’t. With majority really positive reviews, I’d recommend giving it a go.