Elizabeth is an orphan and she lives with her uncaring uncle and aunt. They only watch television and don't show much of an interest in Elizabeth. She loves to read and tries to stay away from the negativity her uncle and aunt usually bring her as much as possible. When they have the chance to go on holiday together they don't hesitate and leave Elizabeth behind. She's being sent to Winterhouse Hotel to spend Christmas by herself. The hotel is owned by a magician named Norbridge. He promises Elizabeth to personally look after her. Will the initial nasty situation of having to spend Christmas on her own turn into something good for Elizabeth and can this be the Christmas she's always dreamed of. Will she find happiness for once, instead of having to get through another dreadful event with her uncle and aunt?
Winterhouse Hotel has an impressive library that greatly fascinates Elizabeth. She's eager to do a thorough search and when she finds a book that calls out to her, she takes it. It's a book about games, puzzles, codes and riddles that has a connection to Norbridge's family. When Elizabeth learns about Winterhouse's legend she's determined to do as much research as she can. Will she be able to find the key behind the mysteries that have captivated the family for many generations and what's the price she'll have to pay to go as far as she's able to?
Winterhouse is a brilliant intriguing story. I was dazzled by the enchanting hotel from the start and couldn't wait to find out more of its history. Elizabeth is smart, curious and inquisitive and she manages to gather a lot of information in the short time she's there. She fits right in and feels more at home in her hotelroom than with her uncle and aunt. Her sad home situation made me tear up, but Elizabeth is incredibly strong and she doesn't back down from any challenge. She can stand up for herself and doesn't let anyone make her a victim. I admired her courage and fabulous fierce spirit. She's a truly remarkable main character and I enjoyed every single page of her story.
Ben Guterson has a gorgeous descriptive writing style. He makes Winterhouse Hotel come to life in a terrific vibrant way. It's a magical place filled with many delightful secrets. I could easily understand Elizabeth's curiosity and loved her limitless desire to sleuth. Each attempt brings something new and I equally enjoyed all of her adventures. Ben Guterson's sentences are beautiful, they're laced with longing, hope, conundrums and predictions. They make Winterhouse compelling and alluring and that's exactly the way an excellent fantasy story should be. Winterhouse Hotel is a story that will stay with me for a very long time, it's a fantastic gem of a book.