The Glass Hotel

Late one night, at a luxury hotel reachable only by boat, someone scrawls Why don’t you swallow broken glass on a huge picture window. The invitation is made to be read from the inside, and appears right before the hotel’s owner—a wealthy businessman who has spent years running an international Ponzi scheme—is due to arrive. As it happens, he doesn’t see it. But Vincent, the young bartender, does, and soon she leaves the hotel to perform as the businessman’s trophy wife. Years later, she vanishes from the deck of a container ship, and the man called in from retirement to investigate is one of the businessman’s victims. In the many entanglements, Mandel weaves deception and greed among the performances, but also moments of desperation and intimacy. Vincent is both the story’s central line and it’s absent heart, and it’s in that gap that the book asks you to look, and to look closely.