The novel by Amor Towles begins with the sentencing of Count Alexander to house arrest that lasts a lifetime. In the process, most of the things he owns are taken from him. Additionally, he has to move from the comfortable suite where he lived to a 1-roomed house. Count finds it hard to adjust to the new hard life he is forced to live. His life seems purposeless as he can only read, go to the barber, eat, and drink within the hotel.
A Quick Overview of the Plot
He befriends an adventurous girl named Nina. Because her father is in Moscow for business, she spends time exploring the hotel. She has the keys to all the rooms in the hotel and gives Count one of them as a Christmas gift.
Mishka visits Count after one-year imprisonment. He is a poet and wonders how the communist rulers are likely to take the new forms of poetry. Count also meets Anna Urbanova in the hotel that same day. She is an actress. He spends the evening with her.
Count feels like things are not going on well. Bishop, a man he does not see as important rises to become a manager at the hotel. Count is not impressed when Bishop gives a directive that wine labels should be removed in the hotel.
In 1926, Count attempted to commit suicide but is stopped by Abram. The count is given honey which reminds him of his home country. He gets a job as w waiter in Boyarsky. Andrey and Emile become his friends.
Life gets hard n Russia. Nina helps in the farms. Mishka is not happy with the way creativity is curtailed in the country. After a few years, Anna is back on her feet. Count is still working at the hotel.
It is 1938 and Nina already has a daughter, Sofia. She narrates to Count how her husband was arrested. Count takes care of Sofia as Nina searches for her husband. Marina helps Count take care of Sofia. She grows to become a skilled pianist. Mishka later dies. The death hurts Count.
Count plans to escape from the hotel. After several days of planning, he finally succeeds. Sofia goes to America while Count moves back home. While there, he sees Anna Urbanova waiting for him. That is how the story ends.