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Passions Of The Grande Dame Hotel: A Novel set at The Breakers of Palm Beach
by Deby Eisenberg

Published: 2022-08-31T00:0
Paperback : 340 pages
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CAPTIVATING HISTORICAL FICTION

The fascinating saga of Palm Beach's Breakers Hotel includes its conversion to a World War II army hospital, where over a dozen babies were born. Passions and Fires will forever change the lives of three women, including a Russian-Jewish immigrant, whose ...

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Introduction

CAPTIVATING HISTORICAL FICTION

The fascinating saga of Palm Beach's Breakers Hotel includes its conversion to a World War II army hospital, where over a dozen babies were born. Passions and Fires will forever change the lives of three women, including a Russian-Jewish immigrant, whose heartrending journeys weave through the timeline of the resort. It is February 1942, just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Addie, the daughter of the assistant manager of the most beautiful resort in America, lives at The Breakers Hotel. Walking the beach, she and her friend, Natalie, are bemoaning their world becoming devoid of its young men, as they are called to serve. And then the girls witness an explosion. German submarines have begun torpedoing Allied merchant ships right off the Atlantic shore. Soon, the area becomes one of the most active military centers in the nation, with thousands of soldiers stationed right at their doorstep in Palm Beach County.

In February 1975, Manhattanite Beth Morgan is distraught over a broken engagement. Her society mother dismisses her problem and insists that Beth accompany her to Florida. When they join an historical hotel tour while waiting for their suite at The Breakers, Beth’s mother has a strange reaction to the handsome docent’s words, and Beth begins to wonder if that is why they have come. Could she have been one of the babies born at the Breakers Hotel? From the story of Addie’s alluring mother, Rebecca, a Russian Jewish immigrant in the 1920s, whose fiancé disappears when she follows him to America, to the tragedy of Natalie’s boyfriend in the war, it is a tale of love and loss, separations and reunions, guilt and absolution. It is a story of the American Dream and the power of passion.

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Excerpt

After their first night at the Breakers Hotel, while Beth Morgan was still hugging the most comfortable pillow she had ever possessed, the generous waves of her auburn hair splayed across the pillowcase, her mother awoke with her usual cough and complained of a bad headache. She had no energy to go down to the breakfast buffet. And so, Beth followed her mother’s directive and ordered room service. By the time the tray came, although she considered waking her mother so she might enjoy her first cup of coffee while it was still hot, Beth saw she had drifted back to sleep and just let her be. Beth emerged from a long shower as the phone rang. She grabbed the hotel’s luscious bathrobe and put it on. “Hello. Is Mrs. Morgan available?” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

What are some of the challenges of the immigrant experience as portrayed in the novel?

What was Rebecca’s role in the novel and how did you feel about her choices?

How many different scenarios in the book, justified the title of Passions of the Grande Dame Hotel?

How did Addie grow as a person in the novel to fulfill her mother’s prophesy that she would be the most important one?

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