Faye once again vividly illuminates history with her fiction ... While the violence of Mafia rule is nothing new, Oregon’s deeply racist past is lesser known, and both are brought to life in this remarkably fluid fiction, framed as a love letter and based in fact.
The Paragon Hotel is set a century ago, but its themes of social and cultural upheaval feel sufficiently fresh that you might think twice about calling Lyndsay Faye’s sixth novel historical fiction. But calling it terrific—not for a minute should you hesitate to do that ... While compelling, the two narratives in Hotel aren’t particularly complementary, and there are moments of dislocation and a need to re-orient as the action switches back and forth between coasts and plotlines, not to mention splendidly named characters ... The great strength of “The Paragon Hotel” is Ms. Faye’s voice—a blend of film noir and screwball comedy ... The jauntiness of the prose doesn’t hide the fact that Ms. Faye has serious business on her mind. At bottom, The Paragon Hotel is about identity and about family—those we’re born into and those we create.
Faye brings readers a feisty, feminist heroine ... stuffed with danger, luscious period clothing and zinging Jazz Age patter ... As only the best historical fiction can do, The Paragon Hotel captures a certain period in time and gives the reader ample opportunity to draw connections with the present day. Faye's talent sparkles like champagne bubbles and bugle-bead fringe on a flapper's gown.