I’ve excerpted parts of my first review below:
Since 1919, the three-story brick hotel, complete with cafe and bar, has anchored downtown Soda Springs, the prosperity of which has always been tied to the notorious vicissitudes of mining, farming and ranching… For a young child, the hotel exerted a certain kind of magic, which Schrand effectively captures in his reminiscences… Holding the enterprise—and to a large extent, young Schrand’s life—together were his grandparents, whose charity and decency reassured a boy who never knew his father. As Schrand grew older, work and responsibilities mounted, as did the feeling that the hotel might be a failing venture. He worked out his resentment and anger in acts of gratuitous cruelty and petty vandalism that threatened to mark him for a future not so different from the dead-enders the hotel often sheltered.
An evocative account of a man coming to terms with his youth.–Kirkus Reviews