BookBrowse Reviews The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

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The Paragon Hotel

by Lyndsay Faye

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye X
The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye
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  • Published:
    Jan 2019, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
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A powerful historical novel that contrasts prohibition-era Portland, Oregon's illusion of racial parity against the reality of the lives of persons of color.

Lyndsay Faye's arresting The Paragon Hotel focuses on how disparate groups of marginalized people cope in a country founded on the idealistic goal of equal opportunity for all. Her novel is engaging on so many levels that its multiple themes beg us to stop and reflect at frequent intervals, even as the narrative drives us to keep reading.

Born into abject poverty in the Little Italy neighborhood in Harlem, New York City in 1896, Alice James learns early on how to stay out of harm's way. A white woman and daughter of a Welsh-American prostitute and a deceased Italian lothario, Alice ("nobody" as she refers to herself) possesses little if any formal education but is long on street smarts. And she will need all the smarts – to say nothing of luck – she can muster if she's to live to see her next birthday.

As her narrative begins it's 1921 and Alice is nursing a fresh ...

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