God's Hotel by Victoria Sweet

91%

16 Critic Reviews

In this often lyrical book, Dr. Sweet reveals a deep spirituality and unsentimental compassion.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

A medical “page-turner” that traces one doctor’s “remarkable journey to the essence of medicine” (The San Francisco Chronicle).

San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the Hôtel-Dieu (God’s hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves—“anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times” and needed extended medical care—ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for twenty years.
     Laguna Honda, relatively low-tech but human-paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. God’s Hotel tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern “health care facility,” revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for the body and the soul.
 

About Victoria Sweet

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VICTORIA SWEET has been a physician at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital for more than twenty years. An associate clinical professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, she also holds a Ph.D. in history and social medicine.
 
Published April 26, 2012 by Riverhead. 385 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for God's Hotel
All: 16 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Nov 07 2011

Sweet’s tales of her hospital, patients, colleagues, and herself offer a fresh linking of medicine past and present.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Abigail Zuger, M.d. on May 28 2012

Others have written about the relationship between time and medical care with similar eloquence and urgency, but the centuries of perspective that Dr. Sweet brings infuse the point with unforgettable clarity.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Abigail Zuger on May 28 2012

Others have written about the relationship between time and medical care with similar eloquence and urgency, but the centuries of perspective that Dr. Sweet brings infuse the point with unforgettable clarity.

Read Full Review of God's Hotel | See more reviews from NY Times

Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Brigitte Frase on Jun 16 2012

In this often lyrical book, Dr. Sweet reveals a deep spirituality and unsentimental compassion.

Read Full Review of God's Hotel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Daniel Ofri on May 20 2012

With its colorful cast of characters battling the tide of history, "God's Hotel" is a remarkable journey into the essence of medicine.

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Dallas News

Excellent
Reviewed by Kathryn Lang on May 29 2012

With this humane and thoughtful work, Sweet joins physician-authors such as Oliver Sacks, Jerome Groopman and Abraham Verghese, whose medical expertise is joined to a philosophical cast of mind and writer’s aesthetic.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Suzanne Koven on Apr 22 2012

In this beautiful and unique book, she shares that gift with us generously.

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DC Spotlight Newspaper

Excellent
Reviewed by Miriam Laufer on Jun 01 2012

The message of her book is clear: we need more time for doctors and nurses to interact with patients in our hospitals and we need to view Doctors Diet, Quiet, and Merryman as essential to our health as much as pills and procedures.

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Energy Bulletin

Excellent
Reviewed by Amanda Kovattana on Jun 27 2012

She is articulate, smart and spare in her descriptions, but she manages to describe her own abilities of observation and doctoring with such humility that she gives the impression of being merely a vessel for divine inspiration.

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UTNE

Excellent
Reviewed by Kari Volkman-Carlsen

God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet is at its core testimonial to the body’s remarkable ability to heal when it is provided with the simple ingredients of time and care.

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Luxury Reading

Good
Reviewed by Vera on Apr 25 2012

God’s Hotel not only shows the developing of a doctor’s character over a 20 year span, but also the HMO take over of the hospital where she practiced, and how inefficient their efficiency plans often are.

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BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Alison Hood on May 01 2012

Yet God's Hotel also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the politics and policies of the 21st-century healthcare model and its sometimes cold, clinical approach to providing care while keeping a constant eye on the bottom line.

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Jeni Read a Book

Good
Reviewed by Jeni on May 09 2012

Victoria Sweet paints a picture of what it was like to work at one of the last almshouses, but more importantly, she paints a picture of what a doctor can do when allowed to practice medicine the way they wanted to.

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47 White Buffalo's Blog

Good
Jun 26 2012

You will learn a great deal just from the patients she encounters and cares for at Laguna Honda.

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Brummellblog

Above average
Reviewed by TheBrummell on Jun 02 2012

...God's Hotel is a very good book. It is full of information and ideas about a great many subjects, with very interesting anecdotes throughout. It's the kind of book I could pick up and read straight through, or nibble on over a few days.

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The Book Browser

Good
Reviewed by Cancer85 on Apr 21 2012

In this beautiful and unique book, she shares that gift with us generously.

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Reader Rating for God's Hotel
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