ISBN-13: 9780316335829
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: January 2016
Format: Hardcover, 368 pgs
Source: Library

I figured I better put up a review today since I might be swamped by the one-week school holidays next week. I hope you have a great weekend ahead and here's my thoughts on Travelers Rest

Tonio and Julia Addison, accompanied by their ten-year-old son Dewey, is travelling home across country after collecting Tonio’s brother, Robbie, from a rehab centre when the blizzard hit. Since it is night time and for safety reason, they decided to take refuge at Travelers Rest, an old hotel located at a small mining town called Good Night. 

However, Tonio finds Travelers Rest strange, and most of all it has no heating and the hotel looks quiet with only a staff at the reception. Tonio wants to continue with their drive but Julia is adamant about staying at Travelers Rest. With the snow piling and that there is a diner and bar nearby, Tonio gave in and they checked into Travelers Rest. 

Robbie is the first who check out this weird town. With his character and his somewhat lukewarm relationship with the Addisons family, it is not surprising that he would pocket Tonio’s money and wander to the nearby bar himself. Tonio may appear to be distant with Robbie, but Julia likes her brother-in-law and will subconsciously find herself comparing with Tonio. 

They managed to make do with their accommodation but the bad weather forces them to stay for another day and thus, they remain. However, it seems like the longer they stay they are bounded and allured by an unexplainable force which had them wander through the maze of the hotel's spectral interiors and soon the family members find themselves separated from one another and this is when the reader will follow their journey and enter into a strange realm where the past intersects with the present. 

Travelers Rest has all the elements of an intense supernatural thriller, but truth be told it is more of a case of characters study which allow readers to glimpse into the characters' minds and understand their individual feel of isolation; and how some past memories can have a hold upon us. While this isn't a bad story, I felt myself disappointed with Travelers Rest as I had expected it to be a spooky gothic read but it turned out to be something else. That said, it was still a worthy read once I got into the story and learnt something about this sad, trapped family. At times I found myself feeling sympathetic towards some of the characters; and it took me a while to connect with them. The only likeable (to say the least) character is young Dewey, who I think is smart at his age and appears to have some sense and control initially until he too was swept away by their circumstances. The ending offers the answers the readers have been wandering about but not necessarily a satisfying one. 

10 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    Hmmm. I think I'd be expecting exactly what you expected. Also, I really want to like at least one character and have a satisfactory conclusion. Maybe I'll give this one a miss!

  2. Kay Says:

    I agree that I also had been expecting a cross between the hotel in Psycho and Stephen King's hotel in THE SHINING. Apparently, not so much. Even though it ended up being a good enough read for you, I think I'll not rush to it anytime soon. But thanks for sharing your thoughts, Melody!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    It's disappointing when a book veers off in another direction than we expected, but once in awhile it becomes even better than we thought. At least it was a decent read for you. Books like these I label as worthwhile-- not horrible but not a very good read like I wanted, just not a waste of time either :)

  4. Enjoy the holidays! I imagine you will be very busy with the children home. :-) I'm working on preparing the paperwork for my daughter's enrollment in school this coming August. It's hard to believe she'll be officially attending school from then on.

    As to your book, it sounds very interesting, Melody. I like books like this that have the elements of a supernatural thriller but are more so a character study. I can see why it would be disappointing though if that wasn't what you expected. That's too bad about the ending not being more satisfying.

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - The premise sounds like a great setup for a gothic read, isn't it, but alas... Still, it wasn't a bad read. Just not what I'd expected.

  6. Melody Says:

    Kay - Yes, it reminds me a bit of The Shining after reading the blurb about a haunted hotel but this went the other direction. Hope you'll read it when the mood strikes! :-)

  7. Melody Says:

    Rita - Yes, I agree with you. :-)

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Yes, the girls have been vying lots of attention from me! I felt drained at times, lol. I can't believe Mouse will be attending school soon! Where did the time go?!

    It was a disappointment of the book but once I got through that it was more of the characters than the atmosphere I was fine with it, just that it was a bit letdown since it wasn't what I'd expected.

  9. Iliana Says:

    I was totally thinking of The Shining as I read your review. I think we'd all expect a lot more supernatural happenings out of this one! Still seems like it has potential.

    On another note, hope you and your family have been enjoying the holiday!

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yep, it does reminds you about The Shining, isn't it? That said, it was not a bad read but just different from what I'd expected.

    Hope you've a great week! :-)

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