Hotel Laguna, a review by Di

posted in: Di | 0

Nicola Harrison

St Martins Press
June 20, 2023
288 pages | Goodreads | Amazon

This book turned out to be something I had not expected. According to the cover, I was expecting a beachy, fluffy story. Wrong! You cannot judge a book by its cover. (though it’s something I often do!) It is a truly interesting historical novel.

Hazel Francis is a young woman who works at the Douglas Aircraft plant during the war. When the war ends, she is jobless and goes to California, hoping to find a life and a purpose for herself. She ends up in an artist community, working for a crusty old artist as an assistant/model.

I love the setting, it exists. The town is full of quirky characters. Hazel soon finds her place in the town. The artist she works with, Hanson, comes complete with an interesting backstory. I learned about The Pageant of Masters. It is an “art festival” where the townspeople recreate famous paintings with real people. It still happens to this day, going on for 90 years!

The plot is a bit of a slow burner but it is interesting. I like watching the relationship between Hazel and Hanson evolve. There is a bit of a mystery, which unravels throughout. There is a small Hollywood element. It all comes together nicely. It’s an even balance between a character-driven and plot-driven tale.

I have mentioned many times, I love historical novels for the fact that I always learn something. Rather than learning by reading historical facts, it’s learning by storyline. This book does not disappoint.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *