The Third Hotel by Laura Van Den Berg

Published: 2018 1. First lines 2. Cover: Pan Macmillan 3. Man Image by Mircea via Pixabay

Clare has come to Havana to attend a film festival that her husband Richard had wanted to attend. However, he was killed in an accident, and Clare decides to go to the festival in his stead. Inexplicably, she sees Richard standing outside a museum and she follows him through the streets and towns of Cuba in the following days.

“I am experiencing a dislocation of reality.”

Even though the book was quite confusing and complex, this reader felt impelled to continue reading to get some clarity. There were so many details that seemed to be thrown in with no meaning attached, it just felt like I was always missing something. The NY Times explains: “…readers are looking not for simplicity but for a bit of clarity, and “The Third Hotel” doesn’t always deliver it.” Perhaps the author’s intention is to “take away your internal compass … because it operates in symbols and layers … There’s no one ending, no right answer.” (NPR)


“It was brutal, the mortality contract. It came for everyone and no one was prepared.”

“She felt like someone had carved her heart out of her chest and then turned her loose to stumble through a dark forest on a frigid night.”

Author: Laura Van Den Berg

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