For fans of Downton Abbey and The Crown … welcome to Hotel Portofino, where romance, revelry, and intrigue await.
Hotel Portofino is now a six-episode TV series that began airing on PBS on May 19, 2022.
A heady historical drama about a British family who open an upper-class hotel on the magical Italian Riviera during the Roaring Twenties
Hotel Portofino has been open for only a few weeks, but already the problems are mounting for its owner Bella Ainsworth. Her high-class guests are demanding and hard to please. And she’s being targeted by a scheming and corrupt local politician, who threatens to drag her into the red-hot cauldron of Mussolini’s Italy.
To make matters worse, her marriage is in trouble, and her children are still struggling to recover from the repercussions of the Great War. All eyes are on the arrival of a potential love match for her son Lucian, but events don’t go to plan, which will have far-reaching consequences for the whole family.
Set in the breathtakingly beautiful Italian Riviera, Hotel Portofino is a story of personal awakening at a time of global upheaval and of the liberating influence of Italy’s enchanting culture, climate, and cuisine on British “innocents abroad.”
“If you love period dramas like Downton Abbey and The Crown, then you need to read Hotel Portofino by J. P. O’Connell immediately.” —PopSugar
“Set in the stunning Italian Riviera and reminiscent of Downton Abbey, and soon to be a PBS original, Hotel Portofino will capture your heart and have you flipping through the pages faster than you’ll ever be able to make hot cocoa.” —Women.com
“O’Connell’s historical novel, brimming with drama, romance, and intrigue set on the beautiful Italian Riviera during the 1920s, is perfect for fans of Downton Abbey. It also includes a diverse cast of characters and deftly addresses the prejudices of the era.” —Library Journal
“Scenes are short, the movement swift, and the language draws less from impressionism than pointillism in its ability to build sweeping emotion from a few pointed strokes. The action moves gracefully from comedy to heartbreak, melodrama to dramatic suspense. Charged adventures involving late night escapes, assignations, and art theft balance quieter moments that capture human kindness and the beauty of a passing world. A charming, moving, and memorable debut, highly recommended.” —Historical Novels Review
“In the genre of Agatha Christie, Henry James, Edith Wharton, this story delights. The author’s descriptions of Portofino are lovely, the characters fully formed. And the story whispers a warning—beware the subtle ways in which freedom can be lost.” —Pamela Binnings Ewen, bestselling author of The Queen of Paris
J. P. O’Connell has worked as an editor and writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines including Time Out, The Guardian, The Times, and the Daily Telegraph. J. P. has also written several books, including a novel, a celebration of letter-writing, a spice encyclopedia, and, most recently, an analysis of David Bowie’s favorite books and the ways they influenced his music. J. P. lives in London.
Esther Wane is a British actor and voice-over artist. After a career in finance, she fulfilled a childhood dream of going to drama school in London, and her life as an actor began at age forty. She has a lifelong passion for literature and can often be found browsing bookshops during any spare moments. Wane enjoys taking her listeners on a journeys in time and space and bringing the characters on the page to life in their imagination. She lives with her family and collection of books in Hertfordshire, just outside London.