Super Host is a true joy! Rarely do I read a book that can make me laugh out loud and at the same time, gently grab at my heartstrings. This is that very special story.
Bennett Driscoll, the main character, is a middle-aged, recently divorced artist in London. Although a Turner prize winner, he hasn’t sold a painting in two years. His galleries have decided to no longer show his work and he has fallen on financial difficulties. He begins renting his beautiful London home out on AirBed, while living in the detached studio at the rear of the property. Touchingly, a great source of Bennett’s pride is the honor of being named a “Super Host” on AirBed’s website. And there begins the introduction of a series of renters, all with tales of their own.
The idea for this book came to Russo during a summer when she hosted guests at a Camden, Maine home her parents were renting on AirBnB.
Kate Russo describes London and its neighborhoods with charm. From the Tate Modern to the Claret (a cross between French wine bar and British pub), I was virtually vacationing there. Best of all, she shows us her characters’ need for human connection, affection and understanding. We are rooting for Bennett to feel happy once again, to move on with his life. But we are as confused as he is about the decisions he must make. There are surprises and there is hope.
I am honored to be an advocate for this smart, stylish and fun debut novel. And my own hope is that Super Host is the beginning of many books from this talented writer. I’ll be reading them all!