Thursday, September 21, 2023

Review - - The Book Club Hotel

The Book Club Hotel: A Christmas Novel
by Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Canary Street Press
Release Date: September 19, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

With its historic charm and picture-perfect library, the Maple Sugar Inn is considered 
the winter destination. As the holidays approach, the inn is fully booked with guests looking for their dream vacation. But widowed far too young, and exhausted from juggling the hotel with being a dedicated single mom, Hattie Coleman dreams only of making it through the festive season.

But when Erica, Claudia and Anna—lifelong friends who seem to have it all—check in for a girlfriends’ book club holiday, it changes everything. Their close friendship and shared love of books have carried them through life's ups and downs. But Hattie can see they're also packing some major emotional baggage, and 
nothing prepares her for how deeply her own story is about to become entwined in theirs.

In the span of a week over the most enchanting time of the year, can these four women come together to improve each other’s lives and make this the start of a whole new chapter?

PJ's Thoughts:

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. 


  1. I am a fan of Ms Morgan. This sounds as lovely as all her books. Thanks for the terrific review.

  2. I enjoy her books. Any inns or hotels that have a library sounds good to me. I have this book on my wish list.

  3. Sounds very good, thanks

  4. I don't think I have read any of Sarah Morgan's books, but several covers looked familiar when I checked her Amazon page. This book sounds like such an enjoyable read. Since I haven't read her yet, the comparison may not be accurate, but it sounds like it would be a bit like Sheila Roberts' books, which I love. Thank you for the review and recommendation. I will be looking fir it. If you find a real Maple Sugar Inn or a Book Club Hotel, let us know. I could spend some time in a place like. that.

    1. I would compare her books to the women's fiction novels written by Susan Mallery, RaeAnne Thayne, and Jill Shalvis. Sheila Roberts is in the same neighborhood but where her books carry more humor Morgan's are a bit more emotionally complex.