Hello, bloggers, and happy National Book Lovers Day! I finished reading The Dollhouse, by Fiona Davis, and here’s my review.
The story goes back and forth from 1950s New York to the present year, revolving around the glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, filled with aspiring models, secretaries, and editors. Coming all the way from Ohio, Darby McLaughlin arrives at the hotel, in 1952, to begin secretarial courses. While she is homesick and self-conscious, Darby meets Esme, a Barbizon maid, who introduces Darby to different scenes in New York—places where the young girls at Barbizon aren’t allowed—that include seedy jazz clubs, filled with addictive music and drugs. Esme is a hard worker, a risk-taker, and aspiring singer, showing Darby to seize new opportunities and to stop doing what others want her to do. And that’s where Darby meets Sam.
It’s more than half a century later, the Barbizon has become a condo, and most of its residents from long ago are forgotten. For years, however, there have been rumors that Darby was involved in a deadly incident involving a hotel maid in 1952. The history and the rumors of the Barbizon become a great idea for a new story for the present-day journalist, Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor. In fact, it happens to be a good distraction from Rose’s failing relationship and living situation.
The investigation becomes unclear, as Rose’s obsession with the project increases, and both the women’s lives are changed indefinitely when the truth finally comes out.
I, definitely, recommend this book. It provided quite a twist and I like the occasional historical fiction. New York sounds so exciting and I hope to visit, one day. Feel free to comment, as always. Happy reading!
The Dollhouse will be available on August 23, 2016.
*I received this copy from Dutton Books, in exchange for an honest review.
About the author: Fiona Davis lives in New York City and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Dollhouse is her first novel.