The Address by Fiona Davis

theaddress

In 1884, Sara Smythe averted a tragedy and becomes acquainted with Theo Camden. This meeting presents Sara with an incredible job opportunity, and she sails from London to New York City to manage The Dakota, a soon-to-be opened apartment house. In 1984, Bailey, an interior designer fresh out of rehab, is overseeing renovations to an apartment with a dark history tied to Sara Smythe and Theo Camden.

Of all the genres I read, historical fiction remains a particular favorite. There is nothing I enjoy more than settling in with a novel so well written that it’s easy to ‘see’ everything in my mind’s eye. Mix in a dual timeline and a seemingly mysterious long ago event, and my eyes are guaranteed to remain glued to the page. The Address combined all these elements and easily swept me back to the ostentatiousness of the  Gilded Age and the indulgences of the 1980s.

I didn’t remember that The Dakota was an actual apartment building, having forgotten that John Lennon was murdered there. (I was a child when it happened, so the where didn’t stick in my memory as much as the what of how he died.) Realizing the location actually existed added an extra bit of enjoyment, because I could find out how the building looked around that time period.

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The Dakota c. 1890 (Photo via Wikipedia)

The blurb gives no indication that the story has a dual timeline, and I was initially confused by it. I expected the entire story to center around Sara, and didn’t understand Bailey’s presence in the story. Her purpose came to light fairly quickly, however, and proved to have a crucial role in the story, in this reader’s opinion.

That said, I preferred reading about Sara—the historical setting and its characters will always take precedence over the more recent for me. More importantly, Bailey is left not knowing all the answers readers are privy to from reading things from Sara’s point of view, which gives her storyline the edge in terms of which was more captivating. Bailey’s story had a satisfying resolution as well, that I found to be particularly enjoyable.

This is the first book I’ve read by Davis, but it most certainly won’t be the last. If you love historical fiction, I think you’ll enjoy reading this book.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Dutton via Edelweiss.

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Author: Fiona Davis
Title: The Address
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: August 1, 2017 by Dutton
Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

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.

About the Author

FIONA DAVIS is the nationally bestselling author of THE MASTERPIECE, THE DOLLHOUSE and THE ADDRESS. She began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction.