Hotel New Hampshire: A family love story

Some novels create a fantasy world. John Irving’s novel The Hotel New Hampshire realistically depicts a family who live in one.

Dust jacket has light gray and white text on burgundy background, no art
No image could capture this novel.

John Berry, the third of Winslow and Mary Berry’s five children, tells the story.

Win and Mary grew up in Dairy, NH, but didn’t meet until both worked summer jobs in Maine after high school.

The Berry children’s favorite story was of their parent’s romance, 1939 marriage, and Win’s purchase of a bear, with which he paid for his Harvard education before coming back to Dairy.

When the private boy’s school at which Win teaches has to take girls, Win decides to buy the former girls’ school and turn it into a tourist destination the first Hotel New Hampshire.

He moves his family and their dog into the hotel.

It’s hardly an ideal place for children or dogs.

There will be two more Hotel New Hampshires, one in Vienna, Austria, the other at the hotel site where Win and Mary met.

Only the third one, the one that is a hotel in name only, is a success.

Irving reproduces the sibling interactions with perfect pitch. Their antics are laugh out loud funny at one minute and bring tears the next.

Visit The Hotel New Hampshire. You’ll be glad you did.

The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
E. P. Dutton. © 1981.  401 p.
1981 bestseller #2. My grade A-

©2019 Linda G. Aragoni

Arthur Hailey Dishes Up a Literary Mac-and-Cheese in Hotel

Hotel is a lot like home: The settings, personalities, and action are all comfortably familiar. By the time you’re a quarter way through the novel, you know how the main plot line will end.

Fortunately Arthur Hailey packs his 1965 novel with enough subplots that, although each of them is also familiar, the collection will keep you entertained.

Multi-story hotel is image on front dust jacket of Arthur Hailey's novel "Hotel"


Hotel  by Arthur Hailey

Doubleday, 1965. 376 pages. 1965 bestseller #8. My grade: B-.

Peter McDermott is the young general manger of a failing, privately-owned New Orleans Hotel, He’s competent and reliable, though hounded by a youthful indiscretion.

Peter would have fired several incompetent and unreliable senior staff members had the St. Gregory’s dictatorial owner, Warren Trent, not protected them.

Unless Trent can refinance the hotel’s mortgage by Friday, they will have to take their chances under new ownership.

When an elderly guest stops breathing, Peter and Trent’s assistant, Christine Francis, cope with the medical emergency and the staff actions that triggered the respiratory crisis.

They also become aware of each other as attractive, unattached individuals.

Hailey did his research. Right down to the fat security chief who’s never around when needed, the problems and personalities of St. Gregory staff look like those I saw while working in an independently owned hotel.

Hotel will occupy your time without straining your brain.

©2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni