Imperial Hotel by Diane Marina is a sweet and beautifully written short story that will take you to New York City in 1948, where women had mainly one purpose in their lives, marry, and those who wanted to be different had to be willing to face the condemnation of a society that won’t accept what differs from the path set.
Two women whose most important problem is meeting a rich and handsome bachelor and to be married before they reach 18 years-old would never imagine that a tea organized by their mothers would end up with them finding the love of their lives and having to make a life-changing decision: to accept that their love is impossible or to fight against what society says about them and pursue their happiness.
While you understand perfectly Lily’s doubts and her decision about marrying or not Andrew to have a normal and acceptable life, Joan’s strength is invigorating because she’s not willing to accept what her mother or people in general say she has to do. She will draw a path for herself and a life worth living where she can be herself, a life Lily can join only if she’s sure about their love and that they don’t have anything to feel ashamed of.
Imperial Hotel by Diane Marina is one of those treasures you find mostly by accident. I’m always amazed by the ability of some authors to create an interesting and catching story even if it’s a short one and you would think there is no “enough time” to develop the plot or the characters. Here Diane succeeds.
As always happens to me when I find lovely stories like this one, where every detail works smoothly, creating a compelling story, I wish there would be more pages to enjoy the characters and the problems they have to face to be happy. But this isn’t an impediment to enjoy all the ingredients the author pours in the story. Two interesting characters with different points of view and ways of acting in front of a difficult situation, decisions to be made and consequences to face, a price to pay for being happy or having what they want and the superb scenario of New York in 1948…. What else do you need to have a wonderful time?