Some novels create a fantasy world. John Irving’s novel The Hotel New Hampshire realistically depicts a family who live in one.
John Berry, the third of Winslow and Mary Berry’s five children, tells the story.
Win and Mary grew up in Dairy, NH, but didn’t meet until both worked summer jobs in Maine after high school.
The Berry children’s favorite story was of their parent’s romance, 1939 marriage, and Win’s purchase of a bear, with which he paid for his Harvard education before coming back to Dairy.
When the private boy’s school at which Win teaches has to take girls, Win decides to buy the former girls’ school and turn it into a tourist destination the first Hotel New Hampshire.
He moves his family and their dog into the hotel.
It’s hardly an ideal place for children or dogs.
There will be two more Hotel New Hampshires, one in Vienna, Austria, the other at the hotel site where Win and Mary met.
Only the third one, the one that is a hotel in name only, is a success.
Irving reproduces the sibling interactions with perfect pitch. Their antics are laugh out loud funny at one minute and bring tears the next.
Visit The Hotel New Hampshire. You’ll be glad you did.
The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
E. P. Dutton. © 1981. 401 p.
1981 bestseller #2. My grade A-
©2019 Linda G. Aragoni