April 7, 2021 | pages 22-42 — start: This Englishwoman was unlucky
“I teased him: ‘Why do they call you Mayor of A. when you are Mayor of B.?’
‘It is because I am incognito,’ he said.”
This absurd Mayor of Nowhere is one of my favorite guests in the Little Hotel.
“…she did not believe in what she called southern talk; but she had very strong ideas about races.”
Stead has a gift for revealing a character’s fixed mindset in no more than a few sentences. Mrs. Powell’s insistent, tiresome voice in the dining hall comes through loud and clear.
“People who do nothing for a number of years are naturally eccentric.”
The sly humor in Stead’s observations about idleness and the lives colliding in the hotel is one of the supreme delights of this novel.