Is it just me, or are debut novels now on average around 300+ pages? The short story collection by Violet Kupersmith, “The Frangipani Hotel” was a MUCH needed break from the bulky novels I’ve been getting bogged down in. Based on traditional Vietnamese ghost stories, Kupersmith adds her own modern twist to the tales (though I was not familiar with the original source material, so couldn’t tell you how accurate they were).
A mix of stories set in the past, recent past and present, what I enjoyed most about “The Frangipani Hotel” was how well all of the stories came together. Each has its own identity and unique characters, but contributes nicely to the atmosphere of the entire collection. Oh, and reader beware- there is definitely something creepy about 90% of the tales. The last group of stories were my least favorite, but don’t let that turn you away– everyone has different qualities they look for in a short story. That said, not sure if I would ask for more tales- the book is edited very well and the only thing I’d switch is maybe the order of the stories.
In all, I loved the book and would highly recommend it, a solid four out of five stars.
Available for pre-order from Amazon.com and on shelves April 1, 2014.
xo The Book Bird