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The Paradise Guest House Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The first thing I want to say about this novel is how beautifully Sussman writes. I have never been to Bali, but thanks to Sussman's descriptions and the way she has of bringing the place to life on the pages, I feel like I can see all of the places Jamie visits in my mind, and I really loved that. She makes it sound like paradise, and exposes the culture, the people and the general feeling of Bali perfectly. Sussman goes into some amazing detail of the night of the bombings from Jamie and Gabe's points of view, and this allows you to really understand their characters and what happened that night. It's almost frightening to read, you know what is happening and how petrifying it must have been, and everything is so well described you can visualise everything that is going on. It isn't easy to read these parts of the novel but it's so compulsive, you just can't put the book down.
I enjoyed the way Sussman writes the novel, beginning in the present day i.e. 2003, one year after the bombings when Jamie has made the decision to revisit Bali despite her fears.Read more ›
The teaser for this book said that fans of The Beach (my all time favourite book in the whole world, ever) would love The Paradise Guest House. True, they're both set in similar parts of the world, but, and this is no slight on The Beach, The Paradise Guest House has something that The Beach doesn't: a beautiful love story.
I wasn't sure when I first started reading it. I found Jamie to be an odd character, cold and and uncaring, which wasn't surprising given what she's been through. But as she settled into her return to Bali, I really found myself warming to her. Her interactions with her host, Nyoman, and street-kid, Bambang, brought out her human, softer side.
The book cleverly switches from the lead up to the bombings and the year after, as well as a whole section on Gabe, the man who pulled Jamie from the wreck of the bombing. Having heard only little snippets about him, I was intrigued to find out and he has a story full of depth and heartbreak all of his own.
I guess my only criticism would be that in some parts, it felt a bit rushed. There were times when I really wanted to soak up the atmosphere, to smell and taste it, and while this happened in bursts, it wasn't laden throughout the book.Read more ›
What started as a dream assignment to the paradise island of Bali, scouting the island for trip recommendations as part of her job as an adventure guide, soon turns into a nightmare for Jamie. During a night out with boyfriend Miguel she finds herself caught up in the midst of the nightclub bombings which changes her life forever.
A year later although physically healed she's still haunted by memories of that fateful night so decides to make a return trip to Bali to seek closure and to attend the memorial. But will she get the answers she's looking for and will she be able to find Gabe, the mysterious man who saved her and helped look after her following the blast.
It was hard to read about the devastation caused by the bombings, especially seeing as it was based on real-life events, and the impact it had to life for the villagers whose whole life revolved around tourism. But it was clear to see that the author had done her research as her descriptive writing brings the culture, tradition and beauty of Bali to the readers.
At just over 250 pages The Paradise Guest House was a poignant story dealing with grief and mourning, healing both physically and emotionally, and the tentative steps of rebuilding life for the survivors and the island itself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jamie has returned to what she thought was paradise, the trouble is she had not really experienced the place fully to see its potential and beauty. Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2014 by Jo D'Arcy
Hooked me from the start. Very descriptive writing with a gutsy female main character. Really felt like I was in Bali with her. Sorry it came to an end! JRPublished on 23 Jun. 2014 by J A N Richards
Very interesting story ll most felt as if you were in bally and the un was shining could not put it down.Published on 24 Jan. 2014 by Petrina Nicoll
This lovely little book combines being easy-to-read with being really quite heart-wrenching. It's set in Bali and explores the impact of the nightclub bombings on two Americans and... Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2013 by StephanieIsReading
Helen for [...]
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Jamie is a likable, adventurous girl who works as a tour guide for people who want... Read more
This story is gut wrenchingly sad and gets you in quickly. The main character, Jamie returns to Bali to try to make sense out of living after her best friend died in the Bali... Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2013 by Kerry M
I have never read anything by Ellen Sussman before this, and so I was very much looking forward to starting her novel. Read morePublished on 21 Aug. 2013 by Megan ReadingInTheSunshine