Rose loved her life in New York. She just started a new job
working at a new magazine and was living with her boyfriend
Griff. One day her world falls apart; Griff comes home
to tell her that he is going back to his wife because they are
having a lot of problems with one of his daughters.
Griff and his wife feel that they need to be together to
take care of her. The other problem is that he tells
Rose she has to move out of their apartment as his wife
will be moving in.
So now Rose has to find a new place to live. Also, her
boss decides that the magazine needs to move in a
different way and Rose has come up with a new idea. You
see "the dollhouse" is nickname for an old building that
back in 1952 housed young girls who needed training
in several areas. Some of the girls went there to learn
how to be models, some to be secretaries. This is also
the building that Rose was living in with Griff.
Darby is a young woman who came to the dollhouse to
learn how to be a secretary in 1952. This is not really what
she wants, but what her mother wants for her. Rose
finds out that Darby is still living in the building in
2016, but, Darby disappears so Rose can't interview her.
However, Stella still lives in the building and Rose becomes
friends with her. Stella is taking care of Darby's dog, but
ends up in the hospital so Rose offers to take
care of the dog. Since, Rose needs a place to stay and
Darby is gone, she decides to take her place in Darby's
While staying there, Rose starts to go though some of
Darby's stuff and finds some very strange things. Is
Rose really who she says she is? While digging deeper
and deeper, things are just not adding up as they should.
THE DOLLHOUSE is not the book I thought it
would be from the title. Davis tells the story from Rose's
and Darby's perspectives in a way not confusing at all
because even though the times are different their lives are
pretty much the same.
Darby is alone and at the moment so is Rose. I like the
fact that each chapter goes from 2016 to 1952. I also
enjoyed Davis describing the building in both
eras. My preference was the Barbizon in 1952 instead of 2016
because I enjoy old
THE DOLLHOUSE has a little bit of mystery, romance and
history about life in 1952. I wasn't born then, so I was
fascinated to learn about this old
building and wondering what other stories the old buildings
in New York that housed young women looking to start
their careers in the mid century have to tell.
"The Dollhouse. . . . That's what we boys like to call
it. . . . The Barbizon Hotel for Women, packed to the
rafters with pretty little dolls. Just like you."
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 1950's 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.