Looking For Stars
The Little Italian Hotel by Phaedra Patrick is the most delightful contemporary novel that will warm your heart and make you smile.
The little Italian hotel is a place where strangers go to heal and leave as friends. It is a place to rediscover the little things that make you smile and bring you joy. And it is a place where friends encourage each other to face their darkest hurts.
Everyone has things that hurt us – from bereavement to illness to relationship breakdowns. Everyone experiences pain differently and everyone heals differently.
We meet a group of five strangers plus the two who run the hotel. The pain of loss is tangible. “Without Daisy in her life, Edna’s loneliness felt like an unwelcome house guest that wouldn’t leave.” Loss consumes, threatening to drag us down into the depths. We need to find a reason to smile again. “Losing her was like an eclipse of the sun.” The days feel so dark. We need others to help to lift us up. Sometimes we just need someone to sit in the silence beside us.
If we are not careful, we are so busy caring for others that we forget the face in the mirror. We need self-care too.
I loved the fact that “everyone needs kindness.” Kindness is very attractive and helps give us a reason to get up in the morning.
Each of the characters faced a different sort of loss. You will identify more with one character than others. I felt a deep connection with Eric who had lost his faithful companion, a little dog. I understood the pain of loss as we also lost four of our five cats to cancer over a period of seventeen months (two were literally ten days apart in Nov 2020 and Dec 2020). The house feels very empty without them. There are definitely four cat-shaped holes in my heart.
All the characters were realistic, likable and sprang to life under Phaedra Patrick’s artistic pen. The love and care radiated from the pages. Likewise, the scenery came to life too.
I adored The Little Italian Hotel and cannot wait for more from Phaedra Patrick. I shall let the author have the final words:
“I can choose to see … darkness setting in at night, or I can focus on the stars in the sky. The more you look for them, the more you see.”
I received a free copy from the publishers. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.