‘The Glass Hotel’ by Emily St. John Mandel is our January Ballerina Book Club pick

‘The Glass Hotel’ by Emily St. John Mandel is our January Ballerina Book Club pick

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Hi, readers!

Our January pick for Ballerina Book Club, hosted by American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Isabella Boylston, is Emily St. John Mandel’s “The Glass Hotel.”

The fifth book from Mandel, author of the acclaimed 2014 novel “Station Eleven,” “The Glass Hotel” cuts through time to tell a story of money, crime and identity, with a Ponzi scheme (and the spewing efflux of consequence upon its fallout) driving the plot.

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In an interview with Nashville Public Television, Mandel describes the novel as a “ghost story.”

“Imagine the possibility that your life is haunted by the ghosts of the lives you didn’t live … Or the way we’re all kind of haunted by the things we wish we’d said, or wish we hadn’t said, or had done, or hadn’t done,” Mandel posits. “So that became kind of an organizing principle of the book. I wanted every section of the book to have some kind of haunted-ness in it.”

The phrase that ultimately haunts much of the text is “Why don’t you swallow broken glass?” — a threat written on the lobby wall of Hotel Caiette, the five-star resort where our novel’s main character, Vincent, works before ascending the ranks of wealth. Ghosts in other forms (phantoms, memories, what-have-you) also stalk the pages, calling into question what we can and cannot escape.

As Penguin Random House (the book’s publisher) puts it: “Rife with unexpected beauty, ‘The Glass Hotel’ is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.”

You can find our reading schedule below. Be sure to check back in for some reading questions as we dive deeper into the book and watch out for special surprises to come!

And if you haven’t already, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get interviews, book picks and more delivered to your inbox.

~ Reading Schedule ~

Jan. 7: Chapters 1-4

Jan. 14: Chapters 5-8

Jan. 21: Chapters 9-12

Jan. 28: Chapters 13-16


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