Sandeep Sanghavi, the mixed-race son of an Indian businesswoman and a famous American astronomer lives a nomadic albeit mundane life traveling the country with his mother, hotel consulting firm. His life becomes more interesting when various lost objects suddenly begin to reappear. Then a stranger calls and claims responsibility for the returned objects in exchange for an introduction to Sandeep’s astronomer father, the rebellious and eccentric Van Ray, who has no phone, email or qualms about having abandoned his son twenty years ago.
Van Ray shows up broke with his pregnant ex-wife astronaut in tow, claiming to have discovered a big secret that will change their lives forever; a new discovery guaranteed to change him from “science famous” to “famous famous.”
With his family together for the first time in years, Sandeep must juggle his father’s scientific search, his mother’s failing business and the tension of having family all together for the first time in decades.
Russ Franklin’s Cosmic Hotel is a smart, provocative novel of breathtaking originality that renders a veritable Unified Field Theory of family, the American Dream, and the wide, pulsing Cosmos. Franklin is a remarkable new literary voice.
An epic feat of storytelling, Russ Franklin’s Cosmic Hotel heralds the debut of a writer of boundless talents.
Franklin renders many scenes of suspended animation achingly well: the closing of many of their hotels, waiting at airport lounges trapped in limbo between time zones, the desperate search for an elusive planet . . . Franklin’s fresh and reflective tale movingly shows that what we make of that created crater, and how, just might be the point of it all.
Cosmic Hotel is a pretty good combination of family drama, mystery, and science fact/fiction, with characters that feel real, and, in a very believable way, damaged.