The novel "The Hotel New Hampshire" by John Irving – released in 1981 – tells a story about a not usual american family , its dreams, fears and its both happy and very dramatic experiences.
Irving describes to the reader the very dazzling story of the family Berry. Opening at the moment, when mother, Mary Bates, and father, Win Berry, get to know and to love each other, during doing a summer job in the hotel "Artbuth-by-the-sea" in 1939. Together with their five children Frank, Franny, John, Lilly and Egg, they live in the little, quiet town Dairy, New Hampshire, when father suddenly decides to open a hotel. The family experiences a lot of happy and not at all common events in the first "Hotel New Hampshire" which is established in an old former school building. But life ist not easy in Dairy and therefor the oldest daughter, Franny, is raped by some boys‘ gang of the local bording school, her elder brother, Frank, is bantered because of his homosexuality and Lily, the youngest daughter stopps growing by incomprehensible raisons. Since the hotel is not very successful, Win Berry decides to sell it and start all over in Vienna. The whole family leaves the continent in two seperated airplanes, but mother and the youngest son, Egg, die because of the crash of their plane near the coast of France. But for all that the rest of the family begins to build up the second "Hotel New Hampshire" in Vienna together with their friend of older "Artbuth-by-the.sea" days and owner of the hotel, Freud. After tumultuous seven years a rebellious political organisation, which also lives in the hotel, tries to commit a bomb attack against the nearby opera of Vienna. During defeating this attack Freud dies and father loses his eyesight, but becomes a hero. Little Lilly who discovers her love to literature in Vienna writes a novel about the experiences of her family and becomes a secessful author. Due to Frank, her agent, the family disposes enough money to start all over again in America. But Lilly is not happy with her life and commits suicide.
The amaurotic father plans to convert the old hotel "Artbuth-by-the-sea", which becomes a ruin, into a successful business again as it was before. With help from the rest of the family John (the storyteller) manages to creat the illusion of a real successful third "Hotel New Hampshire" for his father, though the fractional to the own needs renovated hotel doesn’t actually accept any guests. At the end of the novel all survived family members have a contented life after their own ideas. Irving has the wonderful gift to give real life to the characters of the story by giving them very much deepness and their own nature. Every person seems to be really alive and everyone of them – even the antiheros - offers distinctive characteristic traits. During following the extrem thrilling story this human beings capture you in such a manner that you begin to cry and to be happy with them. There is a wonderful empathy. The novel shows indeed the failure of the american dream in many points, but it demonstrates that a family can be very dependable and durable. Irving criticises the american double moral standard which would expect of their children to witness a murder but doesn’t allow them to hear words like "orgasm" or "abdomen". Subliminal Irving objects to the american traitment of minorities, like colored people and homosexuals, in the fourty and fifty years of the last century. "The Hotel New Hampshire" is a novel which you can be advised to every one who like amusing but not fordable literature. Despite all the happy events of the family Berry, the cruelty of life often apears and death is an all the time attender during our journey.