The Hotel Penn is a contemporary fiction novel set in a time in history that evokes feelings of excitement, advancement and change.
The Jazz Age. Just hearing that sentence makes you want to get up and dance. Or is that just me? Speakeasies or Jazz Clubs were fraught with fun, music, booze and was the birthplace of a musical and cultural explosion.
Set amidst the backdrop of New York City during the precipice of change and excitement, “The Hotel Penn” takes the reader deep into the changing life of a young girl from Ohio who looks to her life-altering move to New York City and her job at the new and exciting Hotel Pennsylvania as a way to break free of the social restrictions in her life. It’s 1919 and American business tycoon Ellsworth Statler has just successfully coordinated the much-anticipated opening of The Hotel Pennsylvania in the centre of New York City. The new hotel is a bustling hive of activity in the middle of America’s most electrifying city of its time, but for 17-year-old Rose Farnsworth, it represents her only chance to escape the poverty and restriction that has suppressed the women in her family for generations. With few belongings, and mostly dreams, Rose sets out to build both a career and a life in New York as she moves far away from Ohio and the life that was planned for her. Rose is soon transfixed by the energy in New York City and with guidance from her cousin Joe, Rose and three impressionable young girls she works with at the hotel, experience the vivid dynamics of the changing social scene that is taking place in the country – and it will change their lives forever. New York in the Jazz Age in 1919 is filled with possibilities - especially for young women. Yet, as Rose takes on her new life as a working woman at the hotel, she must come to terms with her own acceptance of how the changing social scene will affect those she cares about, while coping with the life she left behind in Ohio. But when Rose seizes an opportunity and takes a bold chance in room 1783, the decision she makes could either ensure her success or turn her new life upside down. Inspired by events and people that changed the fabric of their country by taking a chance and believing in change. “The Hotel Penn” is a story about finding your own identity while accepting love, friendship and change and holding true to your heart to the end.