A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully- Feature and Review


When Maya was a girl in Germany, her grandmother was everything to her: teller of magical fairy tales, surrogate mother, best friend. Then, shortly after Maya’s sixteenth birthday, her grandmother disappeared without a trace, leaving Maya with only questions to fill the void. 

Twenty-seven years later, her grandmother’s body is found in a place she had no connection to: the Montgomery Resort in upstate New York. How did she get there? Why had she come? Desperate for answers, Maya leaves her life in Germany behind and travels to America, where she is drawn to the powerful family that owns the hotel and seemingly the rest of the town.

Soon Maya is unraveling secrets that go back decades, from 1910s New York to 1930s Germany and beyond. But when she begins to find herself spinning her own lies in order to uncover the circumstances surrounding her grandmother’s death, she must decide whether her life and a chance at true love are worth risking for the truth.



Hotel on Shadow LakeHotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully is a 2018 Thomas Dunne/ St. Martin’s Press publication.

What an incredible story!

Maya’s grandmother, Martha, was the most influential and important person in her life. But, when she was sixteen years old, Maya’s grandmother disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again…

Twenty-seven years later, Martha’s remains are found in upstate New York, a place she had no connection to. Needing to come to terms with the way her grandmother died, and why she died, Maya leaves Germany and heads to America determined to unravel the events that led to her grandmother’s death.

This story fluctuates between three timelines- the 1930’s and Martha’s experiences during World War Two, and 1910 New York, which relays the family saga of the Montgomery family, while in present day, Maya allows people to believe she is someone she isn’t as she searches for the truth about her grandmother’s past.

Each individual segment of this story is extremely absorbing! The Montgomery family saga lends a slight Gothic tone to the novel, while Martha’s story is tense, tragic, and fraught with danger.

But, what did one family in New York have to do with Martha’s situation in Germany? Maya will have to connect the dots, but finally getting to the truth she so desperately hopes to find, could come at a high personal cost.

This story has almost everything in it that appeals to me in a book. I love historical fiction, family sagas. Gothic elements, mysteries, suspense and romance. This book represents every single one of those elements and categories, while drawing readers into an incredibly absorbing, bittersweet and poignant tale.

Once I started reading this book I was torn between wanting to turn the pages as fast as possible and wanting to slow down and savor the story.

The family secrets, the tensions in Germany, and the mess Maya creates for herself eventually converges to give the reader a good old -fashioned tear jerking conclusion. I admit it- I cried big old fat tears.

The story centers around the mystery of what happened to Martha, how she came to be in New York and why anyone would want to see her dead and kept me pondering all the angles and possible motives, as I worked to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. But, the epic love story is the very heart and soul of the novel, and is what has lingered in my mind in the days since I finished reading this book.

This book was marketed as being ‘for fans of Kate Morton’, which made me immediately skeptical, but also gave me a twinge of excitement. I think for once, the publishers got it right. This is just a fantastic, ‘good to the last drop’ kind of story- one that everyone can enjoy and appreciate, no matter what genre you normally prefer.

Highly recommend!





Daniela was born in Germany, and has lived all over the world, including Mexico, New York and Dubai. As a film-maker she has been involved in projects such as the critically-acclaimed Fair Game, box-office hits Contagion and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as well as the Oscar-winning The Help. Hotel On Shadow Lake is her first novel and the rights have already been sold in North America, the British Commonwealth, Denmark, France, Italy and Serbia.

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