The Dollhouse

The Dollhouse

Book - 2016
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"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"--
Publisher: New York : Dutton, [2016]
ISBN: 9781101984994
Branch Call Number: FIC DAVIS 2016
Characteristics: 289 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

“This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The nar... Read More »

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May 28, 2019

THE DOLLHOUSE is part soap opera, part mystery, and part homage to NYC history. Much of the action takes place at the famed Barbizon nicknamed “The Dollhouse” because for many decades it was a female-only residential hotel. It follows the lives of 3 young women and alternates between 2 different timelines: the 1950s and present-day NYC. This is a book about and for women, and like other books I’ve recently read, I found the older storyline and characters the more compelling and sympathetic. I enjoyed learning about the real-life locations and people (past and present) featured in the book. Author Fiona Davis’s debut novel is a breeze to read and enjoyable in the moment (perfect for the beach, pool, or travel), but easily forgotten a week later.

May 08, 2019

The historical story line in this book was really interesting and the narrative was great. Really enjoyable read. It was my first book from this author but it won't be my last.

Oct 29, 2018

This novel shifts between the early 1950s and the current times. The main characters of each era - Darcy in the 50s and Rose today, lead such different lives and have such different challenges.. or do they? The stories of these two women are engaging and gripping and are woven together so effectively.
I'm excited to see that Fiona Davis has a couple more novels and am looking forward to reading them.

Sep 06, 2018

A real page-turner! Such great descriptions of NYC in the 1950s.

Sep 01, 2018

A very compelling read. Wonderful detail of New York currently and back in the 1950's. Interesting twist near the end.

Jan 19, 2018

A book I could not put down. What I especially liked is Darby contrasting reporting a story via just words to a story with words and images. Also, watching Darby mature in her view of independence and love interests was heart-warming.

Dec 14, 2017

I agree, a really great book. Like Davis's other story this one takes two stories and finds the link between these women. However, unlike her past one this one was not nearly as predictable. I love stories that have female characters as the protagonists, where I can relate. Additionally, the two different time lines weaving historical buildings and reality is beautifully done.

Oct 09, 2017

A great book! It has a wonderful story line and I love to read about the 1950's activities taken on by the ladies of those era. I was a great book to take on vacation and have some down time to enjoy the adventures. The journalist and her partner at work was a great mix. Oct 2017

Jul 20, 2017

Really good book for first time author Fiona Davis, I have read books before that had young women living in Barbizon Hotel for Women. It really interested me to learn the background of the Barbizon Hotel and the lives of the women who lived there. A well written and entertaining book. Look forward to more from this author.

ArapahoeKathy May 26, 2017

This quick read is set in 1952 New York City Barbizon Hotel for Women and 2016 Barbizon turned Condos. The story, setting and historical details makes this book come alive and tells the story of women many would overlook.

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