Reviewed by Ranga Iyer
The core of the Green Hotel is the invisible, yet delicate thread holding the complex relationship shared by Hayden and his father.
Parent-child bonding always touches a chord, and this one does it one hundred per cent. A page-turner for sure, The Green Hotel by Jesse Gilmour describes the intensity of a complex father-son attachment. The moments shared by the father and son borders on certain rawness. At times rough and edgy, but the love they feel for one another conquers everything else. They are close-knit yet maintain their boundaries. The trust they have built over the years by being there for each other is depicted in a profound manner.
Their exchanges about sharing drinks, doing drugs or taking turns at making breakfast is very casual, it almost seems like a routine, but as you keep getting deeper into the book, you realize, these are few of those treasured moments of living and loving between the duo.
Facts, stark realities of everyday living, including boredom, the restlessness—which, at times might even make you want to kill yourself, keeps you engrossed and feeling one with the emotions expressed by Gilmour’s characters. It is quite adorable to note that each character, no matter how small or big their role is in this plot, is given importance and brought to life. There is a lady who collects
empty bottles in Hayden’s neighborhood. She seeks Hayden’s permission to take the empty bottles left outside his home just by glancing at him—that single moment makes her character come to life.House of Anansi Press, 2014
The feel and spirit of Toronto is alive throughout. The sheer freedom to keep roaming aimlessly in the lanes of this city after nightfall is something Hayden loves doing. It is as if he is turning to the spirit of this city to soothe his anxious nerves.
Life and living are two different things, and each character lives up to his full potential. They all go through hopelessness, despair, but never forget to live life. One of the striking features of this book is the hope in a maze of hopelessness. The protagonist or the central theme of this book however, is just arriving at the decision to break free from the shackles of life and living.
The Green Hotel is published by Quattro Books.