The Book Club Hotel: A Christmas Novel
by Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Canary Street Press
Release Date: September 19, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
When I open the cover of Sarah Morgan's annual holiday novel each year, I know I'm about to be immersed into a story filled with friendship, love, complex relationships, emotional depth, and a heartfelt, deeply satisfying conclusion. Morgan's newest offering, The Book Club Hotel, brings all that and more.
Morgan creates a setting for this newest book that is so vibrant and realistic that I'm sure it has to be nestled in a quaint New England town waiting for readers to arrive. I want to explore the town, spend too much money on new sweaters, take way too many photos of the lovely decorations, then enjoy a leisurely walk back to the Maple Sugar Inn before cuddling up in the Inn's library with hot chocolate, a cozy blanket, and a good book. I want to do it all and I want to do it with the four women - and one little girl - who make this book shine.
Sarah Morgan is a master of characterization. The women in this novel, both primary and secondary, are beautifully developed, continuing to grow and evolve as their intertwined stories unfold. I love the ebb and flow of the friendships, both old and new, that are explored, especially the inter-generational relationships that form among characters ranging from forty to five. The five-year-old is a special delight!
While there are (enjoyable) romance threads with happy outcomes, the primary focus of this book is on the journeys of these women, on the themes of friendship and found family, of forgiveness, of discovering your path, your joy, and moving forward to claim it. I laughed with them, cried with them, and couldn't bring myself to set their story aside until I reached the final page. Then, all I wanted to do was go back to the beginning and experience it all over again.
I highly recommend adding The Book Club Hotel to your holiday reading list. It's a charming, heart-tugging, gift to yourself that readers should not miss.