The Address by Fiona Davis

The Address

Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis once again delivers a compulsively readable novel that peels back the layers of not only a famed institution, but the lives —and lies—of the beating hearts within.

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Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse, returns with a compelling novel about the thin lines between love and loss, success and ruin, passion and madness, all hidden behind the walls of The Dakota—New York City’s most famous residence.

After a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she’d make of herself. But when a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house The Dakota, leads to a job offer, her world is suddenly awash in possibility—no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America, where a person can rise above one’s station. The opportunity to be the female manager of The Dakota, which promises to be the greatest apartment house in the world. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else...and is living in The Dakota with his wife and three young children.

In 1985, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities. Fresh out of rehab, the former party girl and interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Two generations ago, Bailey’s grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden. But the absence of a genetic connection means Bailey won’t see a dime of the Camden family’s substantial estate. Instead, her “cousin” Melinda—Camden’s biological great-granddaughter—will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda’s vision. The renovation will take away all the character and history of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in...and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a madwoman named Sara Smythe, a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island.

One hundred years apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages—for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the free-flowing drinks and cocaine in the nightclubs of New York City—and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side’s gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich—and often tragic—as The Dakota’s can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden—and the woman who killed him—on its head.

With rich historical detail, nuanced characters, and gorgeous prose, Fiona Davis once again delivers a compulsively readable novel that peels back the layers of not only a famed institution, but the lives—and lies—of the beating hearts within.


Advance Galley Reviews

THE ADDRESS is a breathtaking novel from Fiona Davis that has elevated her to one of my favorite authors. Using the Dakota in New York as a backdrop for the story in the 1880s and 1980s, Davis presents us with two female lead characters that you root for from page one. The writing is fantastic. The imagery is beautiful as Davis is able to place the reader in places they have never been with her descriptions. The characters are all very complex and the plot line has a few unexpected twists that all make perfect sense. I didn't realize how much mystery was in this novel and that made it even better and more versatile for readers. I don't want to give away any plot points but you cannot go wrong by picking up this book and investing your reading time in it. I loved it! I received an advanced copy of this novel from First to Read.

Loved it! Quick read as it held my interest & i couldn't wait to get back to it! Enjoyed the historical detail blended with a great story spanning different centuries. I would definitely recommend! Thanks for the early review copy.

I am unable to review this book. My digital copy would not download.

This is an engaging work of historical fiction and a great travel read if you want to escape for a few hours. The dual-timeline story begins in 1884 as the Dakota is open to residents in New York City. We are introduced to Sara Smythe in London as some life changing events happen that ultimately lead her to a new job and residence at the Dakota. The additional timeline is approximately 100 years later as Bailey Camden recovers from her own life-changing events that lead her to a job and temporary residence, overseeing a renovation at the Dakota in 1985. Bailey and Sara are both searching for answers and doing their best to take control of their own lives. The novel is well researched, and a fun read. I love old buildings and can easily get lost in imagination, just thinking of what may have taken place within their walls through so many generations. The Address tells a rich story of New York, alternating between the gilded age of the late 1800s and the "Greed is good" indulgences of the 1980s.

I was so excited to get an advanced review copy of The Address. Fiona Davis doesn't disappoint. This book is fascinating going between two time periods set in NYC. The characters are richly written, the setting of the Dakota is so well written it feels like you are there. The mystery is also a great part of the story. I enjoy this book so much I read it in 2 days. I just couldn't put it down. Like Ms. Davis other book The Dollhouse, the story will stay with the reader. I'd love to see this made into a movie. If you like historical fiction, you will love this book. Thank you for the ARC. KB

 


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