An artist whose career has stalled decides to move into his backyard studio while renting his home out to tourists. Through this new endeavor, he meets three women who unwittingly unlock the pieces of himself that have been lost to him for too long.
We find ourselves in the first wave of pre-pandemic fiction. Here come the narratives full of indoor scenes, maskless interactions and group coughing fits. Kate Russo’s breezy debut, Super Host, is one such novel, written long before the words 'super' and 'host' had everyday epidemiological associations ... At its best, it’s reminiscent of the early-aughts romps done to great commercial effect by Nick Hornby and Plum Sykes, and even of the tidy plotting executed by the author’s father, Richard Russo ... The downside of populating a story this way is that Super Host does not get everything it wants. It does not get to be a laugh-out-loud book or a real exploration of loneliness. But it is brimming with Russo’s pure affection for her creation ... Despite the cracks in the walls, Super Host is a pleasant stay, a reminder that you never know what goes on behind closed doors, even when they’re your own.
Bennett's essentially a genial if slightly flummoxed guy, though his wittily sardonic side is revealed in the many asides to which readers are privy ... A painter herself, Russo makes the act of creating art come alive, while effectively limning her characters in this incisive study of contemporary life.
... pleasantly quirky ... While Alicia and Emma’s stories are integrated rather awkwardly into the novel, and are tonally much darker than the main story, they do broaden the narrative. Bennett is a comfortable character to get to know, as is the London through which he ambles.