In 2011, The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel is a rundown building that seems to hold within its walls all ties to what Gateway, Alberta, once was. Named for the Three Sisters mountain that looms over Gateway, the hotel is far from its former splendor when elderly Walter and Iona purchase it for their three adult daughters. Iona’s parents once owned the hotel, which later became a gathering place for leather clad bikers. Now Nancy, Ann and Lynn are the new owners of the rundown building in a town they all had left behind.
In 1911, poacher-turned-trail guide Herbie Wishart follows the new railroad to the Canadian Rockies, where he joins a fossil expedition lead by archeologist Hodgson. Hodgson’s grown children, Humphry and Isobel, are there for the adventure, and Isabel and Herbie bond throughout the trip. When a storm sweeps over the exhibition, everyone vanishes but Herbie.
Two stories intertwine in this sprawling and richly detailed historical novel that spans generations in the Alberta Rockies. Katherine Govier is a masterful story teller and returns to her roots in this novel set in her birthplace of Alberta. The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel is a story of intrigue, adventure and the things time can’t erase. Govier’s extensive historical research and her compelling, fully fleshed characters bring breath and life to the world she has created. At its core a Canadian novel, one hundred years of Canadian history take place in a story that follows three generations in one family. The mountainside setting is the constant in the story, knitting together past and present. Gateway is luminous and vividly written, and the places Govier describes take on a life of their own. Her passion for Alberta is evident throughout the novel, and the Western setting is at the heart of the story.
Full of engaging characters, a captivating plot, romance, mystery and adventure, The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel is an ambitious novel that transported me and swept me away in to the long ago past of Alberta.
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