Elizabeth Bowen’s first novel brilliantly captures the inflammatory mixture of passion and repression among well-heeled British tourists on the Italian Riviera. Their luxurious seaside hotel seems a closed and comfortable world, marked by dramas no more momentous than tennis games, picnics, and idle gossip. But for the young women of the 1920s, facing a dearth of young men after the first World War, it is a battleground for the clash of tradition and modernity. As rebellious young Sydney Warren tests the boundaries of her incomplete freedom—and becomes obsessed with a clever and charming older woman—she increasingly bewilders her suitors, her handlers, and herself. With the psychological precision and command of atmosphere that marks Bowen’s most famous novels, The Hotel depicts a collection of privileged men and women in determined denial of a world that is falling apart around them.