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“Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down.”—People
Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side by side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past.
When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.
Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
A good solid read; no slow parts; pretty entertaining. A nice unexpected twist towards the end....didn't see it coming. I would give it a try.
Too little historical background
Too much feminine soul searching. Isn't there enough of that already? Women know how to do it - they are not simmering wimps.
The feminine story could have been woven much better with more historic facts. There was so much rich history in the building that could have been used to draw from. The history was a skinny rabbit with only bones and no meat. And I was left hungrier after than when I arrived. Very disappointed.
Loved this book!
I fell upon this book by just scrolling through iBooks looking for a new read, and I'll confess..the cover drew me in, and I'm so glad it did! Just a few pages into the sample I went ahead and purchased it, and I absolutely loved it. The author painted a beautiful picture of every detail, then and now, and I can SEE the characters and settings so clearly in my mind. She is a phenomenal author and this was a lovely story. Highly recommend!