The Address, Fiona Davis
Release Date: August 1
The Dakota apartment building in Central Park is one of the most famous apartment buildings in the world. When it was built, it was a revolutionary combination of luxury and modern convenience. The Address by Fiona Davis is a dual timeline, historical fiction novel set in this iconic location.
In the 1880’s, Sara Smythe leaves her prestigious position as head housekeeper at an elite London hotel for a new life in America. She is offered the role of managerette of the brand new Dakota by one of its architects, Theodore Camden, with whom she quickly develops a close friendship. Sara must learn to balance her work, her social standing, and her blossoming relationship with the married Mr. Camden.
In the 1980’s, Bailey has just gotten out of rehab and been fired from her interior decorating job. She gratefully accepts her cousin Melinda’s offer to redecorate her grand Dakota apartment. Bailey falls hard for the beauty and the history of the Dakota. This opportunity leads her on a quest to discover the truth of Sara and Theodore’s past, as well as her own family’s history.
The Address seamlessly marries fact with fiction. Davis skillfully brings her New York City setting to life- including perfect period details from both the gilded age as well as the 1980’s. Her choice of timelines is in fact brilliant. The 1880’s and the 1980’s share many similarities. Both decades feature a glamorous facade that often hid a much harsher reality.
The Address could have benefited from more in-depth character development. The male love interests in particular were fairly two-dimensional. I think Davis did a decent job at fleshing out both Sara and Bailey however. I loved the cameo from real life journalist-extraordinare, Nellie Bly. I would read an entire novel with her as the protagonist!
This was a quick and enjoyable read. Although not particularly remarkable, Davis’ writing is certainly strong and engaging. The Address is well-plotted with just enough suspense to keep readers flipping the page. I did feel that the ending was a tad rushed however. I think this book will appeal to fans of historical fiction, readers who like upstairs/downstairs stories, as well as books set in Manhattan.
**A huge thank you to Netgalley and Dutton for the opportunity to read The Address in exchange for an honest review**