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Sara Smythe has a run in with Theodore Camden at the hotel in London she works at as Head Housekeeper. He convinces her to come to NYC and work at his new apartment building The Dakota. Apartment buildings for families didn't exist really in this time so reading about this new period of time was fascinating. It's Gilded Age New York and old money is falling while new money is climbing. Suddenly Theodore is found murdered in The Dakota and who did it but of course Sara, the help, who spent a little time in an Insane Asylum.
100 years in the future we find Bailey Camden fresh out of rehap and looking for her purpose in life. She's staying at the Dakota and helping her cousin renovate the building when she finds three trunks in the basement. Theodore's, his wife Minnie's, and Sara's. Bailey dives into their family history and learns that some secrets never stay buried... while some do.
Historical Fiction fans will love this book, Sara and her journey, and the dual timelines that come together in the end. I can't wait to read more from Fiona Davis now!
2019-08-14: Had to return, did not read.
2021-01-31: Good read, not my favourite by this author, but worth reading.
This book with its dual timeline (1884/1985) will be appealing to fans of historical fiction. It tells an intriguing story of family secrets related to the architect of a famous NYC apartment building.
Enjoyed reading the experiences of Sarah. The issues related to mentally ill individuals in the late 1800's and early 1900's is appalling. I didn't really enjoy the book overall. Switching back and forth became somewhat tiring.
Entertaining stories set 100 years apart and surprise endings for both of them. Enjoyed this one.
I read this book for my book club & we had an interesting discussion on the history of the building, "The Dakota". This novel includes mystery, historical fiction & a lot of drama covering characters in two time frames, the 1880's and 1980's. The stories are brought together in the end in a surprising conclusion(at least to me). This book would appeal to those interested in New York City history, in particular its architecture. The treatment of the mentally ill would also be of interest.
Great suspenseful, twisty plot, and fascinating description of life in 1885 London and New York City and the construction of the famous Dakota apartment building, in this historical murder mystery. There are two stories 100 years apart, 1885 and 1985, connected by a single extended family and the setting of the Dakota where much of the action takes place.
This was a great novel based primarily on 2 women who lived in 1885 and 1985 and flipping back and forth between the two. I thoroughly enjoyed the ever changing lives that both lived and the love, deceit and struggles both women faced. A Great read!
I really, really wanted to like this book since I had loved THE PARIS ARCHITECT so much. But I didn't. I found the plot lines predictable, the characters two-dimensional, and the whole experience disappointing. On the upside, it's an easy read and I'm a fast reader.
On the whole, I give it a resounding "MEH."
My recommendation: Skip this and read The Paris Architect instead.
It was really good. I really enjoyed the two different time lines and the historical facts regarding women's rights in the one time line. My issue with this book was the ending was a tad too predicable. However, enjoyed this enough to take out her other book, The Dollhouse, which I loved.
It was good and eventually blended together. I thought it was a bit predictable.
I really liked this book. At first it was a little slow as it set up the plot but once it got going I couldn't wait to get back to it.
The Address is worth reading for a glimpse of The Dakota and the Blackwell Insane Asylum, both real and in stark contrast to each other in terms of architecture and residents.
Both buildings are online, interesting to see photos of them now.
Various threads of plot are neatly tied in a bow at the end.
This was a great mystery- wouldn't call it historical fiction. I feel like too much of the story is in the book description on the cover, though. I pretty much knew how it was going to end but I was surprised by one little insignificant twist that should have had more weight. Anyway, still an entertaining read to see how all the pieces of the mystery come together.
Oh my gosh!! This is one of the best novels I have ever read. Was a great and loving storyline and the characters in the novel were well played out. I could not put this book down... a must ready for all you that want to be inspired by a great story. I will definitely be reading more of Fiona's work. Read this novel Sept 2017
Two timelines—1885 and 1985—recount the opening and ongoing stories at New York City’s famed Dakota apartments at Central Park West. So predictable. Historical fiction bordering on chicklit! I so wanted to like this.