Wednesday 3 May 2023

Hotel 21 by Senta Rich BLOG TOUR #Hotel21 #SentaRich @BloomsburyBooks @RandomTTours @tabithapelly #BookReview


'I have a first-day rule. Any sign of trouble, even a whiff of a problem, and I walk.'

Noelle is an efficient and friendly hotel cleaner, a model employee. Or so she'd have you think. The trouble is that she can't help taking little 'souvenirs' as she cleans. Nothing of value, just tokens of happy, normal lives: a lipstick, a hair clip, some tweezers. And by the time the guest has noticed, she's long gone.

As she starts at her 21st hotel, she's determined to beat her record of one month in a five star hotel before suspicion falls on her. But when she meets her new colleagues, her plans are complicated. These women aren't just hands pushing carts down lonely hotel corridors: they are women with lives full of happiness and worry, pain and joy. The kind of lives Noelle has never known how to live. They make her wonder what it might be like to have real friends, people to stick around for.

Will the women at Hotel 21 give her the courage to claim the life she deserves, or will her old habits come back to haunt her?

Hotel 21 by Senta Rich was published on 27 April 2023 by Bloomsbury Publishing. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. 

Noelle is about to start work as a hotel cleaner. This will be the twenty-first hotel that she's worked at. Noelle rarely stays long in a job. She's an excellent worker, she enjoys cleaning hotel rooms, but Noelle has a grubby little secret. She cannot stop herself from taking things from the rooms that she is cleaning. She doesn't consider herself to be a thief, and she only takes inexpensive items such as a pair of tweezers or a sample pot of make up, but she knows that some guests will notice. Noelle leaves her job before she can get fired.

This is a novel that sucked me in from the opening paragraphs. The author cleverly includes list made by Noelle. Detailing the hotel that she's worked in, how long she stayed and what exactly she took. It's a fascinating premise and I really wasn't sure where this was going to go. Was it going to be a comedy, or a message about stealing?  It is so much more! 

The descriptions of the workings of a hotel are wonderfully portrayed. All the buzz that goes on behind the scenes, as the guests enjoy their relaxing stay is so well done. I especially loved the team work and how each of the cleaners have their own back story, with varying reasons for working in the hotel. The sense of loyalty between them is startling and the reader will come to love every one of the cleaning team. 

Hotel 21 is the turning point for Noelle. It's certainly not all sweetness and light for the reader either as Noelle's own back story is revealed. There are some dark and disturbing issues raised, especially about Noelle's early life, and her relationship with her mother. It is the love and support of the team at Hotel 21 that turns Noelle's life around, her realisation that she can have friends, and also be a friend. That she is valued and that what her mother did to her wasn't the norm, and most importantly, wasn't her fault. 

This is a poignant, yet often hilariously funny story of female friendship, filled with a cast of amazing women and comes highly recommended by me. 

Senta Rich began her career as an advertising copywriter. 

During this time, she also wrote radio plays and magazine articles, before moving into the world of screenwriting. 

She now writes regularly for film and TV. 

Rich lives in Dublin with her husband and son.

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