Hôtel Splendid recounts the daily life of three sisters who live in a decrepit hotel on the edge of a swamp. The narrator, the youngest of the sisters, struggles to preserve the hotel in the face of insurmountable dilemmas: the decay of the building, the indifference and illness of her sisters, the remorseless expansion of the swamp. Confronted with dissolution and death, she displays a tireless persistence that is nearly as mysterious as it is moving.
This is one of three novels that are the first works to appear in English by Marie Redonnet, one of France's most original new authors (the other novels are Forever Valley and Rose Mellie Rose, both also available from the University of Nebraska Press). Translator Jordan Stump notes that these books "unmistakably fit together, although they have neither characters nor setting in common." In all three novels, Redonnet has said, "it is the women who fight, who seek, who create."