With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans–in love with each other since they can remember–whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.
“In a love story of epic proportions, O’Neill’s excellent historical novel plumbs the depths of happiness and despair for two orphans determined not to let the world get them down . . . This novel will cast a spell on readers from page one.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Grotesque and whimsical at once, the love story that unfolds is a fable of ambition and perseverance, desperation and heartbreak . . . O’Neill’s prose is crisp and strange, arresting in its frankness; much like the novel itself, her writing is both gleefully playful and devastatingly sad. Big and lush and extremely satisfying; a rare treat.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“O’Neill’s prose is gorgeous and understated, with arresting imagery, thankfully lacking any over-the-top lyricism or excessively heavy-handed magical realism. This simultaneously heart-breaking and life-affirming novel depicts the range of the human experience through the eyes of its preternaturally charismatic hero and heroine . . . This is an original and unforgettable novel.” —Library Journal, Starred Review
“O’Neill is a mistress of metaphor and imagery. This is brilliant tragicomedy, filled with story, setting shifts, shady characters, and nearly too many clever similes, all moiling around in a melancholy love story that brings to life the bygone days of theatrical revues. It’s a little weird and a lot of fun, evoking a sad smile, like Margaret Drabble’s melancholy but witty The Sea Lady (2007) and Juliette Fay’s The Tumbling Turner Sisters (2016), which offers a lighter look at vaudeville-era showmanship and its personalities.” —Booklist, Starred Review