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The Paragon Hotel
by Lyndsay Faye

Published: 2019-01-08
Hardcover : 432 pages
4 members reading this now
7 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
A gun moll with a knack for disappearing flees from Prohibition-era Harlem to Portland's Paragon Hotel.

The year is 1921, and "Nobody" Alice James has just arrived in Oregon with a bullet wound, a lifetime's experience battling the New York Mafia, and fifty thousand dollars in illicit ...
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Introduction

A gun moll with a knack for disappearing flees from Prohibition-era Harlem to Portland's Paragon Hotel.

The year is 1921, and "Nobody" Alice James has just arrived in Oregon with a bullet wound, a lifetime's experience battling the New York Mafia, and fifty thousand dollars in illicit cash. She befriends Max, a black Pullman porter who reminds her achingly of home and who saves Alice by leading her to the Paragon Hotel. But her unlikely sanctuary turns out to be an all-black hotel in a Jim Crow city, and its lodgers seem unduly terrified of a white woman on the premises.

As she meets the churlish Dr. Pendleton, the stately Mavereen, and the club chanteuse Blossom Fontaine, she understands their dread. The Ku Klux Klan has arrived in Portland in fearful numbers--burning crosses, electing officials, infiltrating newspapers, and brutalizing blacks. And only Alice and her new Paragon "family" are searching for a missing mulatto child who has mysteriously vanished into the woods. To untangle the web of lies and misdeeds around her, Alice will have to answer for her own past, too.

A richly imagined novel starring two indomitable heroines, The Paragon Hotel at once plumbs the darkest parts of America's past and the most redemptive facets of humanity. From international-bestselling, multi-award-nominated writer Lyndsay Faye, it's a masterwork of historical suspense.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2019: When Alice “Nobody” arrives in Portland, Oregon, it is 1921, and she’s just gotten off a cross-country train from New York. She’s got a suitcase, a recently-acquired traveling companion named Max, and a bullet wound (sustained in a drug deal gone wrong back in Harlem) to remind her that her presence is no longer welcome back East. Portland’s only all-black hotel may not seem like the logical place for a white woman to hide out, but Max works there, and tells her: “you’re coming with me, all right? I know a girl what don’t fancy a regular-type doctor when I see one.” However, the KKK has also arrived in Portland and is mounting a campaign of terror. So when a mixed race orphan from the hotel goes missing, Alice may be the only hotel guest who can safely make inquiries. The darkly topical issue of race violence underpins the plot here, and Faye’s meticulous attention to period detail won’t let her shy away from depicting its ugliness accurately, but ultimately The Paragon Hotel’s message is full of heart, delivered by a lively, wise, and witty cast of grifters and gangsters, cabaret singers, and crooked cops. —Vannessa Cronin

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  "the paragon hotel"by Carolynr (see profile) 08/19/19

2.5
I'm going to be in the minority here I know. I didn't care for the "unique" writing style, as some reviewers put it. And didn't care for the characters. However I did read to the end
... (read more)

 
  "Don't give up on this one."by blblanton (see profile) 02/22/19

It took me a bit to get used to the author's very different writing style and figure out just what was going on but then I got hooked and wanted to know what happened! It's one of those books that you... (read more)

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