I have loved other of Emylia Hall’s books so I was utterly delighted to receive her latest, The Thousand Lights Hotel thanks to Millie Seaward at Headline. You can see my review of Emylia’s The Book of Summers here and of The Sea Between Us here.
The Thousand Lights Hotel will be published in e-book on 1st July 2017 and in paperback on 13th July 2017 and is available for purchase through the links here.
Please return to Linda’s Book Bag on 10th July when I’m so excited that I’ll be interviewing Emylia about her writing and The Thousand Lights Hotel in particular.
The Thousand Lights Hotel
When Kit loses her mother in tragic circumstances, she feels drawn to finally connect with the father she has never met. That search brings her to the Thousand Lights Hotel, the perfect holiday escape perched upon a cliff on the island of Elba. Within this idyllic setting a devastating truth is brought to light: shaking the foundations upon which the hotel is built, and shattering the lives of the people within it.
A heartbreaking story of loss, betrayal, and redemption, told with all the warmth and beauty of an Italian summer.
My Review of The Thousand Lights Hotel
When Kit’s mother dies, she decides to search for the father she has never known.
I cannot begin to say how amazing I found this book. Emylia Hall has the ability to transport me to another place, both physically, in Elba, and emotionally, so that whilst reading The Thousand Lights Hotel I frequently had to pause to allow myself to process the depth of feeling created. I think it is her elegant style in using such a range of sentence structure that has the ability to stop the reader in their tracks, heart breaking and tears streaming, as emotion after emotion washes over them. Who would have thought a semi-colon could reduce a middle aged woman like me to an emotional wreck! The way direct speech is fractured and fragmented makes it naturalistic and affecting and Emylia Hall knows exactly when less is more. She can convey more emotion in one monosyllabic word than many writers can convey in pages.
The Thousand Lights Hotel is a gorgeously crafted book. The plot is urbane, graceful and believable, but also surprising with tantalising hints of mystery. Elba as the main setting is inspired. A place of exile, all the characters seem to be looking for, or hiding, a part of themselves and as these aspects are gradually revealed the reader is completely entranced. The use of the senses transported me completely to every setting so realistically and the smattering of literary and cultural references, including Italian, enhanced the total credibility of every single word.
The characters themselves are outstanding creations. Although physically present for only a few pages, Rosa is at the very heart of the narrative. Of all the ‘thousand lights’ she burns most brightly in a sense. I found I didn’t much like her, but that I understood her completely and desperately needed to know how the lives of those touched by her were affected. This is such clever story telling. I saw Valentino as a kind of King Lear with Kit almost Cordelia and I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say the strength of emotion in Emylia Hall’s The Thousand Lights Hotel equals Shakespeare’s writing.
It’s hard to articulate how much I adored The Thousand Lights Hotel. I thought it was exceptional.
About Emylia Hall
Emylia Hall was born in 1978 and grew up in the Devon countryside. She is the author of The Book of Summers, which was a Richard & Judy Summer Book Club pick in 2012, A Heart Bent Out of Shape, The Sea Between Us and The Thousand Lights Hotel. She lives in Bristol with her husband, the writer Robin Etherington, and their young son.