A woman looks back on her childhood in an attempt to reconstruct the setting with the utmost fidelity. The Red Hotel grapples with both the inability of memory to conjure up the past reliably, and the failure of art to create an authoritative representations of reality. Maria Efstathiadi has set her novella as if on a stage where the heroine keeps trying to engage in conversation with the people who have set their mark on her life. References emerge to fraught relations in a family where the mother was overbearing and the father an incorrigible philanderer. Lively snapshots of different moments in the past draw the reader into the memoir. The author deploys an effective amalgam of theatrical delivery, dialogues that might have come from a novel, and poetic style. Despite the emotional charge of this journey into the past, Efstathiadi deftly avoids the slightest trace of sentimentality or melodrama.
(Ithaca Online, www.ekebi.gr)