About the Book
When Maya was a girl, her grandmother was everything to her: teller of magical fairy tales, surrogate mother, best friend. Then her grandmother disappeared without a trace, leaving Maya with only questions to fill the void.
Twenty-seven years later, her grandmother’s body is found in a place she had no connection to.
Desperate for answers, Maya begins to unravel secrets that go back decades, from 1910s New York to 1930s Germany and beyond. But when she begins to find herself spinning her own lies in order to uncover what happened, she must decide whether her life, and a chance at love, are worth risking for the truth.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
Even though Hotel on Shadow Lake wasn’t quite like I expected it to be, I enjoyed it a lot. Set in Germany in the late 1930s and USA across the decades it demonstrates the devastation caused by the horror of WW2 and also how greed can destroy lives.
In 1930’s Munich, Martha has differing views to her mother and twin brother about the country’s political situation. She is constantly being warned that she needs to keep her thoughts to herself.
In 2017, Maya is desperate to find out why the remains of her Grandmother (Martha) have been discovered in a remote area in New York. Despite warnings to be careful, she is determined to carry on with her investigation.
I liked both narrators and time frames but the strongest part of the novel for me was in the 1930s. I have read a bit of fiction that is based on events leading up to the start of WW2 but never from a female point of view. Much of it is intimidating, and a lot of it is upsetting. The levels of violence shown by the Gestapo and those who followed them because they believed it was the right thing to do. The fear from the Jewish communities, the belief of the students that they could make a difference had me reading with a lump in my throat.
So to go from this scenario to the one in America felt like quite a leap. There was still intimidation but it was completely different. I did work out the connection fairly early, but I wanted to see how it all came together in modern-day. And what had happened to Martha, who was my favourite character by a long way.
I don’t always read author notes at the back of a book but if you are the same, I would advice that you do. They made me want to read certain parts of it again.