Past Meetup

Let's Discuss: God's Hotel by Victoria Sweet

This Meetup is past

10 people went

Price: $4.00 /per person
Location image of event venue


20% off at Bookshop Santa Cruz for best sellers, or 15% off if you mention Ravenous Readers at the register or take the book off the book club wall. (It has a little tag in it for the cashier.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please bring $4 cash to pay for the room rental. You can bring water, or any non-alcoholic beverage, to drink during the meeting, and any snacks you want to share.

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 in Paris. 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.


Go to Attendee List