The Hotel Neversink

Tin House. Aug. 2019. 290p. ISBN 9781947793347. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781947793354. F
The disappearance of a child at a Catskills resort hotel in the 1950s eventually opens the door on a secret family history that threatens to undo the hotel and with it a family’s legacy. Jeannie Sikorsky and her son, Len, run the Hotel Neversink, an unfinished mansion purchased by her immigrant father, Asher, and turned into a hotel that becomes one of the jewels of the Borscht Belt. By the late 1960s, it has fallen on hard times owing to cultural changes and the continuing disappearance of children in the area, leading Len to concoct increasingly desperate schemes to try to restore the hotel’s prominence and the family’s fortunes. Complications arise when cousin Alice, who was attacked and left for dead by the killer at the hotel in the 1970s, becomes determined finally to discover the identity of her attacker and by doing so save her own life.
VERDICT Told by a cast of family members that spans generations, this is a family saga with a mystery at its heart and a Doctorow-like take on the rise and fall of a particular era of American life and the American dream. Price (The Grand Tour) has written a compelling chronicle of grand dreams and dark secrets.

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