The Address
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.

The Address Details

TitleThe Address
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherDutton Books
ISBN152474199X
ISBN-139781524741990
Number of pages368 pages
Rating
GenreHistorical, Fiction, Mystery, New York, Adult, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Romance, Suspense

The Address Review

  • Angela M
    July 21, 2017
    One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is because I just love reading about historical New York City. This novel definitely reflects the time of a developing city and a sense of place. Although it begins in England in 1884, the story shifts quickly to NYC when Sara Smythe takes a job at a new upscale apartment building in New York, The Dakota. The Dakota is a real building and still stands. Sara's story alternates with the modern day story in 1985 of Bailey Camden. At first the main conne One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is because I just love reading about historical New York City. This novel definitely reflects the time of a developing city and a sense of place. Although it begins in England in 1884, the story shifts quickly to NYC when Sara Smythe takes a job at a new upscale apartment building in New York, The Dakota. The Dakota is a real building and still stands. Sara's story alternates with the modern day story in 1985 of Bailey Camden. At first the main connection of the two time frames was The Dakota until Bailey finds Sara's belongings in the basement of the building and their link becomes so much more . The novel is engaging in some ways as Sara's life in her first year in NYC. I felt for Bailey in the modern story as she struggles upon her return from rehab. But after one chapter of the modern day, I wanted to be back a century. It could be that I'm just getting a little weary of dual time frame stories which are hard to escape these days. The thing that kept me from rating this higher was that I just found it too predictable and assumed correctly everything that happens in the end of both stories. Even though I was somewhat disappointed, there are many 4 and 5 star reviews, so I may be an outlier here. You should read those reviews as well. I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin First to Read Program.
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  • Cheryl
    July 4, 2017
    New York City in the 1880’s was on the brink of expansion. Wealthy families had built magnificent homes there, and more construction was underway. The Dakota, was a newly built grand structure. It was one of the first luxury multi family residences to be constructed on the Upper West Side of New York. Into this setting, Sara Smythe arrives from London where she had been head housekeeper at an elegant hotel. She agreed to come to New York at the request of architect Theodore Camden. He has hired New York City in the 1880’s was on the brink of expansion. Wealthy families had built magnificent homes there, and more construction was underway. The Dakota, was a newly built grand structure. It was one of the first luxury multi family residences to be constructed on the Upper West Side of New York. Into this setting, Sara Smythe arrives from London where she had been head housekeeper at an elegant hotel. She agreed to come to New York at the request of architect Theodore Camden. He has hired her to be the “managerette” of the Dakota. Sara hopes this new position will provide opportunities for a better life. The Dakota in 1985 has fallen into disrepair. Bailey Camden, a recovering alcoholic, is trying to reestablish herself as a respected interior designer. Her cousin, Melinda Camden, has hired Bailey to redecorate her apartment in the Dakota. While sorting through items in the Dakota’s storage rooms, Bailey discovers that there are long buried secrets in her family. She decides that it is time to uncover the truth about her family’s history.Author Fiona Davis’ well written novel evokes a real sense of place as she weaves together a story about two women whose lives are connected even though the distance between them spans a century. This is a fascinating story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and family ties that is hard to put down. Thank you to Net Galley, Dutton (an imprint of Penguin Random House), and author Fiona Davis for giving me the opportunity to read the ARC of this novel.
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  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    July 21, 2017
    This book bounces between 1884 and 1985. It is centered on the Camden family. The generational connections are brought out as the story unfolds. Also prominent in the novel is the "Dakota", a magnificent apartment building built in New York City in 1885. The first building to be built on Central Park and famous years later as the building that John Lennon lived in when he was killed. As this building passes from generation to generation, within the Camden family, more questions are raised and mo This book bounces between 1884 and 1985. It is centered on the Camden family. The generational connections are brought out as the story unfolds. Also prominent in the novel is the "Dakota", a magnificent apartment building built in New York City in 1885. The first building to be built on Central Park and famous years later as the building that John Lennon lived in when he was killed. As this building passes from generation to generation, within the Camden family, more questions are raised and more answers are found. Having not read The Dollhouse, this was my first experience with this author. I found her to be extremely readable. Likeable characters, nice plot twists, and just the right amount of side issues put into the story to make it enjoyable. She used a number of real places and situations and real people to tell this story. She does have an addendum explaining what liberties she took in this novel. Thank you to First-to-Read for allowing me to read and review this book.
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  • Kathleen
    June 25, 2017
    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 about to open for residents in New York City. We are introduced to Sara Smythe in London while 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 jo 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 about to open for residents in New York City. We are introduced to Sara Smythe in London while 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. Thank you to Penguin's First to read program for providing me with an advance copy for review.
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  • Book of Secrets
    July 26, 2017
    Review coming soon!
  • Quirkyreader
    July 4, 2017
    Thank you Prenguin RandomHouse for the ARC.When this book comes out try and find a copy. Fiona Davis has written another fast paced and engaging story about the city of New York. This time the story was based around the famous apartment building The Dakota. I have been wanting to see the inside for years because I am interested in Guilded Age/Victorian Era architecture. And this building probably has some great stories to tell.This story grabs you at first go an immerses you into a world brilli Thank you Prenguin RandomHouse for the ARC.When this book comes out try and find a copy. Fiona Davis has written another fast paced and engaging story about the city of New York. This time the story was based around the famous apartment building The Dakota. I have been wanting to see the inside for years because I am interested in Guilded Age/Victorian Era architecture. And this building probably has some great stories to tell.This story grabs you at first go an immerses you into a world brilliantly written by Davis.
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  • Cynthia
    June 2, 2017
    The Address is a fun lighthearted fast paced read. It's about the famous Dakota residence apartment building that was built in the 1880's when it was off by twelfth surrounded by Central Park and farms. Davis includes a sprinkling of history alternating the 1880's with the 1980's though it's the older story that was most compelling. Though the storylines deal with serious topics the book remains escapist in feel.You'll most likely be familiar with some of the history don't miss the author's note The Address is a fun lighthearted fast paced read. It's about the famous Dakota residence apartment building that was built in the 1880's when it was off by twelfth surrounded by Central Park and farms. Davis includes a sprinkling of history alternating the 1880's with the 1980's though it's the older story that was most compelling. Though the storylines deal with serious topics the book remains escapist in feel.You'll most likely be familiar with some of the history don't miss the author's notes at the end where she lists where she learned of the real life folks in the story or got the idea for confabulating some real and made open characters. Some of the h DNA science Davis cites doesn't seem realistic to me but I'm no expert in this area. Also, I probably. Should have see the ending coming but it surprised me nonetheless.Thank you to the publisher for providing an e-copy.
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  • Latanya
    July 23, 2017
    (Full review at http://www.craftyscribbles.com)New York City's historic Dakota Apartments served as a backdrop to love, loss, dreams, desire, and identity in Fiona Davis' The Address. Behind the walls of the famous residence, lines crossed, never to untie again. Davis presented her story via the dual perspectives and timelines of Sara Smythe, an English immigrant in 1885 and Bailey Camden, party girl turned interior designer in 1985. These characters connect without ever meeting. But, their conn (Full review at http://www.craftyscribbles.com)New York City's historic Dakota Apartments served as a backdrop to love, loss, dreams, desire, and identity in Fiona Davis' The Address. Behind the walls of the famous residence, lines crossed, never to untie again. Davis presented her story via the dual perspectives and timelines of Sara Smythe, an English immigrant in 1885 and Bailey Camden, party girl turned interior designer in 1985. These characters connect without ever meeting. But, their connection demonstrated how precious the story's themes stretch generations.SettingPrior to reading this tale, The Dakota's majesty and reputation spoke to me. John Lennon's murder occurred there. "Rosemary's Baby" used the complex as its setting. Famous artists, such as Roberta Flack, Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, and Albert Maysles, chose the grandeur as their residence. Thus, on setting alone, I wanted to read this book. I'm glad I made the choice. Davis clearly adored the place as her research shows hours of information, granting full transparency of The Dakota's history and personality. As the reader enters the complex's walls, you're sucked in, wishing you signed a lease to stay.Furthermore, NYC's historical background granted more than enough to strike an interest. Davis included slivers of actual moments, such as the delivery of the Statue of Liberty and the dawn of New York City before the first skyscraper. You felt the hunger and determination of the fresh faces, desperate to get by to the next day.Verdict: A, Davis' research showed throughout the story. PlotDavis set a clear plot without much confusion. In 1885, Sara Smythe worked as the head housekeeper of a grand London hotel, when one day, she saves the life of a little girl. As a token of appreciation, the little girl's father, an architect, invited her to work for him, promising higher status than earned there. With secrets and a past, she wished to avoid, Sara accepts the position and immigrates to NYC, fresh-faced and fresh in reputation. Once there, she serves as the head manager ("managerette" in prefeminist terms at the time). However, after a brief tryst, she struggles to get her head above water after a series of hardship and mistreatment. Whereas, in 1985, down and out of rehab, Bailey Camden wished to create a new start. She's a social pariah after an embarrassing moment at a party, threatening her interior designing career. Given the chance to restart, she makes the most of her new opportunity, but when curiosity strikes her, she finds more than she expected underground.Verdict: B, Melodrama mashed with a straight-forward story of the aforementioned themes in an given Aaron Spelling series kept me interested as it would another reader.CharactersOutside of your basic characters, like her father, a love interest, and cousin, focus stayed on three characters: Sara Smythe and Bailey Camden. Sara left home to seek a new life and when she arrives, not understanding the costs involved, she suffered, but never faltered under someone's thumb. She's a strong character, no matter how others treat her. Additionally, we saw how women and the mentally ill's mistreated in this story during one of her experiences. Sara held her hair high. On the other hand, Bailey's less strong, but still doesn't quite gives up. She completed her rehab, and despite shunning from snooty packs, she's determined to make a way for herself. Both women hunger for something fresh and exciting. Yet, they refuse to leave their backbones behind and sell themselves short for an easier life. While I found Sara's chapters more riveting, Bailey's provided glue I didn't know I wanted.Verdict: B, While there's some paint by numbers characterization, Sara and Bailey kept my attention.PacingA bit slow in the beginning, as aforementioned, Davis put the work in her story. Sometimes, she threw in a lot of history and description, which slowed the pace. Once the story gained its footing, the pacing quickened.Verdict: C, Too much research bogs the story down. Don't bore us. Get to the chorus.ConclusionThis story, albeit tragic and serious, about two strong-willed women seeking their paths amid drama, scandal, and joy entertained me. However, this story slowed a bit in the beginning and engrossed me during Sara's chapters than Bailey's. But, I'd recommend this tale for historical fiction lovers nonetheless.Verdict: 3.5/5 Dakota lease agreements*Thanks to Penguin's First Reads for this reading opportunity in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Colette
    April 16, 2017
    Yes, I have found a new favorite author. LOVED this book. I love historical fiction but have always been particularly drawn to my hometown of NYC in the 1800's. My grandparents lived on Roosevelt Island back in the 70's and I remember as a child hearing about the island being used to house the mentally ill. This book makes me want to research and learn more about that time. I thought it was funny that one of the characters lives in a white brick building on the East side..so did I! Anyway, great Yes, I have found a new favorite author. LOVED this book. I love historical fiction but have always been particularly drawn to my hometown of NYC in the 1800's. My grandparents lived on Roosevelt Island back in the 70's and I remember as a child hearing about the island being used to house the mentally ill. This book makes me want to research and learn more about that time. I thought it was funny that one of the characters lives in a white brick building on the East side..so did I! Anyway, great story, great pace, loved the mystery aspect. This would make a GREAT movie. Don't miss this one if you like historical fiction and mysteries. (Out in August) Thank you Dutton!
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  • Linda Zagon
    July 9, 2017
    Kudos to author Fiona Davis, author of "The Address" for her artistic descriptions, historical research, and her amazing research. The genre of "The Address is Historical Fiction, based on actual history, and written as a novel of fiction. The timelines of the story are set a century apart, 1884, "The Gilded Age" and 1985, also considered a time of partying use of drugs, and alcohol. In 1884, "The Dakota" one of the first luxury apartment buildings set on the Upper West Side was built, surrounde Kudos to author Fiona Davis, author of "The Address" for her artistic descriptions, historical research, and her amazing research. The genre of "The Address is Historical Fiction, based on actual history, and written as a novel of fiction. The timelines of the story are set a century apart, 1884, "The Gilded Age" and 1985, also considered a time of partying use of drugs, and alcohol. In 1884, "The Dakota" one of the first luxury apartment buildings set on the Upper West Side was built, surrounded by farms and the countryside.  The architect Thomas Camden had visions of a new Upper West Side. The Dakota had every amenity. There was a dining room, a tailor and more on the premises to meet the residents needs. "The Dakota" will certainly be known as "The Address" where the wealthy and elite reside.The author describes the characters as complex and complicated.  Sara comes from England at the request of Thomas Camden to assist with the grand opening of "The Dakota" and to assist with overseeing the staff in 1884.In 1985, Bailey an interior designer, and just our of rehabilitation for Alcoholism, comes to The Dakota to modernize it for her cousin, a descendent of Thomas Camden. Bailey really would like to keep the original ornaments and accessories from a century before. There are twists and turns in this novel and there is also a mystery surrounding a murder.Although it is a century apart, both Sara and Bailey meet with betrayal, SECRETS, and manipulation by other characters.I love the way Fiona Davis discusses the relevant topics of the times. Around 1884, women could be committed to an insane asylum without any legal representation. It was worse for women that did not speak English. There was abuse and punishment and many of these women would just disappear. There was also the question of illegitimate children and how society viewed this. In 1985 there was drug and alcohol abuse, especially when the wealthy partied. Also the concept of testing for DNA was new. The wealthy had access to testing for DNA to prove inheritance issues.I appreciate the way the author discusses the  importance of family, friends, love and hope.  I would highly recommend this intriguing, captivating novel for those readers that love historical fiction, suspense and mystery and romance. I received an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) for my honest review.
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  • Marla
    July 22, 2017
    This is a captivating book about what a woman who takes a chance and moves from England to New York to manage a new hotel. She doesn't want to be like her Mom and fall for her employer but she can't help it. Like The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis brings the characters to life and makes you care for them. It always shocks me the way women were treat back in the 1800's, not sure why it does because women fought so hard for rights and freedoms, but it always does. The fact that a sane woman who has done n This is a captivating book about what a woman who takes a chance and moves from England to New York to manage a new hotel. She doesn't want to be like her Mom and fall for her employer but she can't help it. Like The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis brings the characters to life and makes you care for them. It always shocks me the way women were treat back in the 1800's, not sure why it does because women fought so hard for rights and freedoms, but it always does. The fact that a sane woman who has done nothing wrong can be placed in a crazy house on a secluded island without all the evidence gone through just always blows my mind. I've read stories about that island in New York before. I really felt sorry for Sara and what she went through. I also was glad that Bailey was strong and fought for what she thought was right. I wanted to smack Melinda. What a bitch. Fiona Davis is a wonderful writer and you can tell she has done her research about the places and eras she writes about. Well worth my time.
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  • Autumn
    June 27, 2017
    Though a little slow at first, this book really gets going in the second half. I've read a lot of books set in the 1800s that portray women as poor victims of circumstance. I love that Davis not only gives the women spunk, brains, and agency, but she also shows how Theo emotionally manipulates them by playing the societal norms and faux empowerment cards. Overall, a great historical read. It also made me wonder how I had never heard of this building before. Definitely going on my to-do list for Though a little slow at first, this book really gets going in the second half. I've read a lot of books set in the 1800s that portray women as poor victims of circumstance. I love that Davis not only gives the women spunk, brains, and agency, but she also shows how Theo emotionally manipulates them by playing the societal norms and faux empowerment cards. Overall, a great historical read. It also made me wonder how I had never heard of this building before. Definitely going on my to-do list for my next NYC trip.
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  • Toni
    July 16, 2017
    Excellent read. Put your name on your library's hold list now. I'm on vacation and have too many books to read, I know, why am I complaining. Just wanted to get the word out on this book.I'll be back with a proper review.Thank you, Netgalley.
  • Faith
    July 10, 2017
    I liked reading about the Dakota, a building I've always wanted to visit but I don't generally like dual timeline stories. I find them contrived and one is always better than the other. In this case I preferred the story set in 1884 to the one set in 1985 until it turned into a romance novel with obvious consequences. At that point I gave up on it. Women's fiction and I just do not get along. I should have been warned. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Bkwmlee
    July 25, 2017
    3.5 starsI had wanted to read this book primarily because of the historical setting and in a way, from a historical perspective, the author Fiona Davis was able to deliver, as she did a pretty good job establishing a sense of time and place with her vivid descriptions of the Dakota apartment house building in New York City, the infamous location where Beatles lead singer John Lennon was murdered back in 1980. The present day narrative does refer to the Lennon murder in a historical context, but 3.5 starsI had wanted to read this book primarily because of the historical setting and in a way, from a historical perspective, the author Fiona Davis was able to deliver, as she did a pretty good job establishing a sense of time and place with her vivid descriptions of the Dakota apartment house building in New York City, the infamous location where Beatles lead singer John Lennon was murdered back in 1980. The present day narrative does refer to the Lennon murder in a historical context, but that’s about the extent it goes, as the main story itself is a fictional one about the Camden family and their connection to the Dakota.Through a dual timeline primarily taking place in New York City in 1885 and 100 years later in 1985, the Dakota is the link that binds the two past and present narratives together. The first narrative is about a woman named Sara Smythe who, through a chance encounter with architect Theodore Camden in London in 1884, is hired on to become manager of the new apartment house complex he was in charge of building in New York City, called the Dakota. Once Sara arrives in New York, she is able to put her skills to good use and rise above the circumstances in an era when women were looked down upon and given little respect. In the second narrative, taking place in 1985, Bailey Camden is a recovering alcoholic who finds herself in desperate circumstances after completing rehab, so she reconnects with her cousin Melinda, the official heir to the Camden legacy, and is tasked with redesigning her apartment in the Dakota. The 2 narratives start to collide when Bailey finds 3 trunks belonging to Sara, Theodore, and his wife Minnie in the storage area of the building, which sets off a “mystery” of sorts with Bailey trying to find out what exactly happened 100 years ago as well as her own connection to that past.This was a simply written story and a good choice for a quick, enjoyable summer read. While I liked it enough overall, I felt that there was not much depth to the story or the characters, which was one reason why I couldn’t rate this book any higher than I did. The story was quite typical and predictable and the way some of the events unfolded felt a bit too contrived – there were times I felt like I was reading an outline with a series of events filled in neatly one after another, all leading to an ending that I pretty much already figured out halfway through the book. I did appreciate the historical elements that Davis was able to incorporate into both narratives, though I will admit that I was a little disappointed when the second half of the book strayed a bit and focused more on the mystery and romance aspects of the story rather than the history. There were also a few sections where the way certain characters were written, their reaction to things that happened either didn’t make a whole lot of sense or wasn’t strong enough, which I think contributed to why I wasn’t really able to connect with the characters much. In the author’s note, Davis indicates that this story is a “blend of historical fact and fiction” and for me, it was interesting to find out which parts were real versus the ones that were made up. I actually did a little bit of Google searching afterwards, as the book had piqued my interest in the Dakota (I live in California and have never been to New York, so I had no idea about the landmark’s historical background) and was happy to see that many of the historical details Davis had incorporated were quite accurate. With that said however, I also feel that the historical context was a little underused at some points when there was opportunity to make it stand out more. I’ve seen this book marketed as historical fiction but to me, it felt more like a “cozy mystery in a historical setting” – regardless though, the story was quite readable, just not really what I expected.Received ARC from Dutton / Random House via Penguin First-to-Read program.
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  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    July 17, 2017
    In this wonderful historical fiction novel, we have two narrators, Sara Smythe in 1884/1885 and Bailey Camden in 1985. The story begins in 1884 as we are introduced to Sara Smythe in London, England. She is the head housekeeper at a swanky hotel where she save the life of a young girl teetering on a window ledge. The father, Theodore Camden meets Sara to thank her and is quiet impressed by this young lady. He offers her a job at the soon to open Dakota apartment building in New York City. Sara d In this wonderful historical fiction novel, we have two narrators, Sara Smythe in 1884/1885 and Bailey Camden in 1985. The story begins in 1884 as we are introduced to Sara Smythe in London, England. She is the head housekeeper at a swanky hotel where she save the life of a young girl teetering on a window ledge. The father, Theodore Camden meets Sara to thank her and is quiet impressed by this young lady. He offers her a job at the soon to open Dakota apartment building in New York City. Sara decides to accept the job, but once she arrives is immediately promoted to Manageress. 100 years later we meet Bailey. Fresh out of rehab and with no job, she accepts the offer of her "cousin" Melinda Camden to renovate her apartment in the Dakota as well as a place to stay in the meantime. Bailey and Sara are both trying their best to take control of their own lives. Sara has tragedy befall her through no fault of her own, and Bailey finds information that might just help her find where she belongs. The novel is well researched, and a great read, in fact I had a hard time putting it down. The two story lines meshed so well together and even though I had figured out certain things in the story, the ending surprised and delighted me. Another reviewer put it perfectly when she said, "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 felt like I was there, I could see the world so well through her writing. A great read for any lovers of historical fiction as well as those wanting to know about life in New York during those time periods. Thanks to Penguin's First to read program for giving me the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of this book.
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  • Maggie Holmes
    May 13, 2017
    The Address by Fiona Davis is suspenseful entry in the popular two time stream novels. In this case one story takes place in New York City in 1880s as the apartment building Dakota (The Address of the title) is opening and New York begins its move further up the island. Sara Smythe emigrates from England to become the manageress of the Dakota and soon the lover of the married architect of the building, Theodore Camden. The second part of the story also takes place at the Dakota, but this time in The Address by Fiona Davis is suspenseful entry in the popular two time stream novels. In this case one story takes place in New York City in 1880s as the apartment building Dakota (The Address of the title) is opening and New York begins its move further up the island. Sara Smythe emigrates from England to become the manageress of the Dakota and soon the lover of the married architect of the building, Theodore Camden. The second part of the story also takes place at the Dakota, but this time in 1989 — an important time because DNA is just becoming used to test blood. This half of the story features Bailey, a sort of cousin of Melissa Camden who “hires” Bailey to renovate the Dakota apartment after she gets out of rehab. The suspense involves why Sara would have killed Thad and how was Bailey’s grandfather related to the Camdens. One of the highlights is Sara’s stint in the insane asylum which is infiltrated by reporter Nellie Bly. This book provides a fascinating look at the history of New York during this period and, of course, makes you want to go see the Dakota for yourself. Recommend to readers of Sarah’s Key and Forgotten Garden and the mysteries of Victoria Thompson.
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  • Mariah
    July 18, 2017
    A lovely and engaging historical read. The Address kept me invested from beginning to end. A story with alternating timelines (1880's and 1980's), at first I found myself wishing the novel was written solely from the point of view of Sarah (1880's). Gradually Bailey's story line was fleshed out, and I found myself rooting for her as well. Sometimes novels told from alternating timelines get bogged down in their own plot, but I never felt like The Address sacrificed character development. If you' A lovely and engaging historical read. The Address kept me invested from beginning to end. A story with alternating timelines (1880's and 1980's), at first I found myself wishing the novel was written solely from the point of view of Sarah (1880's). Gradually Bailey's story line was fleshed out, and I found myself rooting for her as well. Sometimes novels told from alternating timelines get bogged down in their own plot, but I never felt like The Address sacrificed character development. If you're looking for a quick, enjoyable read, then I definitely recommend this book!
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  • Suzanne Swift
    July 17, 2017
    Well, I am definitely going to read Fiona Davises first book, the Dollhouse. The Address was written with such rich detail, from page one until the end...Rich in architectural research and beauty...And the storyline, superb and intriguing.The real horrible insane asylum where women were sent , the conditions the women had to live in , was portrayed rawly and justly...Bravo Fiona ..this book is a real gem..Won the book as a Giveaway from Author
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  • Bethany Clark
    July 2, 2017
    What a beautifully written story. I would have to say that this is one of my favorites for 2017. Fiona captured the essence of the time period of 1885 and 1986 perfectly and I loved how the characters melded together.I love historical fiction and a storyabout a piece of history that is alive and well in NYC, The Dakota. It will be a must see stop on my next trip to the city!Sarah Smythe, after a chance meeting with Theodore Camden, is offered a job in America to work as a managerette at The Dako What a beautifully written story. I would have to say that this is one of my favorites for 2017. Fiona captured the essence of the time period of 1885 and 1986 perfectly and I loved how the characters melded together.I love historical fiction and a storyabout a piece of history that is alive and well in NYC, The Dakota. It will be a must see stop on my next trip to the city!Sarah Smythe, after a chance meeting with Theodore Camden, is offered a job in America to work as a managerette at The Dakota. She jumps at the chance and leaves for America immediately to begin her new life.Fast forward to 1985 - Bailey Camden is trying to find her way again after a rehab stay due to drugs and alcohol. She has lost her job at amazing interior designer in the city and has hit rock bottom. Then she is given the chance to redesign the Dakota for her cousin Melinda. She jumps at the chance and accepts the roof over her head.As she works, Bailey (and Renzo) are finding out more and more about Sara Smythe and Theodore Camden. Between the affairs, the incarceration for stealing of Sara Smythe on Blackwell Island and so many more pieces, Bailey is truly starting to reconsider who her true family is and where Theodore Camden falls into the equation.Through the ups and downs of The Dakota, Bailey Camden, Sara Smythe, Theodore Camden - you will be able to paint a clear picture of love, hate, demise, murder and family.
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  • Laura
    July 17, 2017
    This was a free egalley from Penguin's First to Read program. I enjoyed this book. Personally, I thought the 1885 sections were more interesting than the 1985 - the characters had more depth and the events were more interesting. I did like the way the story switched between eras. I enjoyed trying to figure out what really happened to the baby and the murder. I thought the ending of the Victorian story line was a bit melodramatic and the 1980's story line resolved too neatly. But it was fun read This was a free egalley from Penguin's First to Read program. I enjoyed this book. Personally, I thought the 1885 sections were more interesting than the 1985 - the characters had more depth and the events were more interesting. I did like the way the story switched between eras. I enjoyed trying to figure out what really happened to the baby and the murder. I thought the ending of the Victorian story line was a bit melodramatic and the 1980's story line resolved too neatly. But it was fun read in general and makes me want to read my library's copy of The Dollhouse.
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  • Sylvia
    June 30, 2017
    I really wanted to love this novel. It had many things going for it, the setting in the fascinating and famous Dakota in NYC,the double pronged historical time periods with distinct narrators. Women in two different generations forced to take care of themselves pointing out the difficulty in the 1980s as well as the turn of the century.What lost me were the stock characters, unrealistic relationships and sometimes silly dialogue. A lot of potential but the novel is taken down by its weaknesses. I really wanted to love this novel. It had many things going for it, the setting in the fascinating and famous Dakota in NYC,the double pronged historical time periods with distinct narrators. Women in two different generations forced to take care of themselves pointing out the difficulty in the 1980s as well as the turn of the century.What lost me were the stock characters, unrealistic relationships and sometimes silly dialogue. A lot of potential but the novel is taken down by its weaknesses.
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  • Laura
    June 27, 2017
    Had to stop reading this half way through. Some people might like the kind of stress filled drama that launched from the 49% mark but not I! Interesting setting - the building, staffing, and launch of the famous Dakota building in the late 1880s, combined with an interesting mystery as to who killed whom under investigation in 1985 BUT too much heavy handed false accusations, uncharacteristic behavior and two dimensional characters that were either good but naive or simply bad. Not my thing, tho Had to stop reading this half way through. Some people might like the kind of stress filled drama that launched from the 49% mark but not I! Interesting setting - the building, staffing, and launch of the famous Dakota building in the late 1880s, combined with an interesting mystery as to who killed whom under investigation in 1985 BUT too much heavy handed false accusations, uncharacteristic behavior and two dimensional characters that were either good but naive or simply bad. Not my thing, though not badly written in terms of pure writing style.
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  • Kara Shae
    May 4, 2017
    I was given an ARC by Dutton through NetGalley to review.Admittedly, Davis' books have sat on my To-Read shelf far longer than they probably should have, so The Address was my first introduction to her writing style. I'm not sure why I've waited so long. Davis has truly mastered the art of blending history and fiction in such a way that not only are you invested in the fictional characters, your interest surrounding the factual setting is piqued. That being said, The Address also employs a bit o I was given an ARC by Dutton through NetGalley to review.Admittedly, Davis' books have sat on my To-Read shelf far longer than they probably should have, so The Address was my first introduction to her writing style. I'm not sure why I've waited so long. Davis has truly mastered the art of blending history and fiction in such a way that not only are you invested in the fictional characters, your interest surrounding the factual setting is piqued. That being said, The Address also employs a bit of a slow burn. I was maybe 75 to 100 pages in before the plot really grabbed me. I'm not sure if that is part of her writing style, or if it's unique to this novel, but it's safe to say by page 100 you will inadvertently be hooked. You just have to make it that far in.The Address centers around the historic Dakota, one of the first apartment homes in New York City, and the locale of Lennon's death. Architect Theodore Camden and his brood come to live in the building while construction is being completed. After saving one of his children from falling out of a window in London, Sara Smythe is hired by Camden to oversee and manage the Dakota, prompting her move to New York. What follows is a beautiful blend of history and fiction, past and present as Davis blends the story of Camden with that of Bailey, a former alcoholic just released from rehab and come to stay at the Dakota.Trust me: you won't see the ending coming, in the most delightful way.
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  • Kim McGee
    May 28, 2017
    This story is told in two parts - the past through the female managerette Sara Smythe and in 1985 from a poor cousin to the building's architect, Bailey. Sara falls in love with her employer and is sent away under suspicious circumstances only to have Bailey later discover the truth generations after. The history of the famous apartment, the Dakota, one of New York City's most famous buildings, is told so well you can imagine the imposing facade and the elegance of its furnishings. The sheer siz This story is told in two parts - the past through the female managerette Sara Smythe and in 1985 from a poor cousin to the building's architect, Bailey. Sara falls in love with her employer and is sent away under suspicious circumstances only to have Bailey later discover the truth generations after. The history of the famous apartment, the Dakota, one of New York City's most famous buildings, is told so well you can imagine the imposing facade and the elegance of its furnishings. The sheer size of it and the number of staff to run it was impressive enough but Fiona Davis brings a touch of humanism to the deep mahogany of the stairs and breathes life into its many ghosts. Exceptional historical storytelling - just like the Dollhouse, that tells the story of the rise of the glory of New York City. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Tammy
    May 11, 2017
    This is a good old fashioned historical novel centering around the a young woman in service trying to better her lot in life at the Dakota in NYC during the gilded age and another young woman trying to do the same during the 1980's. It has the requisite events that echo through the decades. Prepare yourself for a good ride.
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  • Marcee Feddersen
    July 11, 2017
    http://www.anurseandabook.com/2017/07...I enjoyed The Dollhouse so I was really excited to get an advanced copy of The Address. I always like historical fiction, and although it started a little bit slow, I was engrossed pretty quickly.Bailey is desperate for money and a place to live, so she takes up residence at The Dakota, a historic apartment building - at the beck and call of her party girl "cousin, Melinda. Although they aren't technically related, they have a family bond, and right now Me http://www.anurseandabook.com/2017/07...I enjoyed The Dollhouse so I was really excited to get an advanced copy of The Address. I always like historical fiction, and although it started a little bit slow, I was engrossed pretty quickly.Bailey is desperate for money and a place to live, so she takes up residence at The Dakota, a historic apartment building - at the beck and call of her party girl "cousin, Melinda. Although they aren't technically related, they have a family bond, and right now Melinda is the only one who will give her the time of day. Even though Bailey does't agree with the design style Melinda is leaning towards (could anyone's taste really be that bad?), she knows she is in no position to argue - and kowtowing to Melinda has been a constant in Bailey's life since they were children.When Bailey finds some belongings in an old trunk, she realizes that there might be more to her family story than she knew.....There was the time hop story between the past and the present, and if I had one complaint - it would be that the present story wasn't nearly as compelling as the past. Part of the was that i didn't really find Bailey to be that likable, and the romantic storyline was almost sterile in tone. I cared much more about Sara and her story, and wanted to know how she ended up in an asylum and known through history as a murderess.All in all, another winner by Fiona DavisCurrent Goodreads Rating 4.06
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  • Mary
    July 7, 2017
    The Address by Fiona Davis is a well written piece of historical fiction, set alternatingly in 1885 and 1985 - in the 'notorious' Dakota Apartment building. In the 1885 time line, the Dakota is just being completed and residents are moving in, and we meet the supervising architect and the "managerette" he hires to oversee the staff and the needs of the inhabitants. In 1985, one of the apartments is under reconstruction, supervised by Bailey on behalf of a pseudo-cousin who is the great grandchil The Address by Fiona Davis is a well written piece of historical fiction, set alternatingly in 1885 and 1985 - in the 'notorious' Dakota Apartment building. In the 1885 time line, the Dakota is just being completed and residents are moving in, and we meet the supervising architect and the "managerette" he hires to oversee the staff and the needs of the inhabitants. In 1985, one of the apartments is under reconstruction, supervised by Bailey on behalf of a pseudo-cousin who is the great grandchild of the architect. The stories don't intertwine much, but more reference each other. I found them a bit predictable, but enjoyable. The author does a good job developing the characters and referencing the standards of each day, setting well thought out plot lines subtlely, for the most part. With thanks to Dutton publishing and Fiona Davis for the Advanced Readers Copy through edelweiss.
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  • Andrea
    June 23, 2017
    Thank you to First To Read for the chance to read this book. It appealed to me for various reasons--the setting [my daughter lives on the UWS so I was most interested] and the two timeline format--a favorite. I tend to like the past more than the present [which often presents as a learning opportunity--a bonus]; this also was true here.A good mixture of mystery and historical fiction. Engaging and not so much. Predictable, absolutely [though a bit of mystery remained]--until the very end.So thou Thank you to First To Read for the chance to read this book. It appealed to me for various reasons--the setting [my daughter lives on the UWS so I was most interested] and the two timeline format--a favorite. I tend to like the past more than the present [which often presents as a learning opportunity--a bonus]; this also was true here.A good mixture of mystery and historical fiction. Engaging and not so much. Predictable, absolutely [though a bit of mystery remained]--until the very end.So though it was well written and sort of a page turner as I was engrossed in the mystery... ultimately I can only say a solid three stars. Turn offs: predictability and some of the "romance." Additionally, some of the stock [minor] characters were rather flat--perhaps there could have been more fleshing out and ultimately more interest. As well, it seemed like a race to the finish--the tying up of the loose ends--as it were--the mysteries of the two timelines. Didnt live up to its potential.
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  • Brenda Gayle
    July 9, 2017
    It is rare to be equally captivated by both stories in novels with parallel plots -- modern and historic-- but I was totally engaged in both Sara's and Bailey's stories. Fiona Davis gives the reader vivid detail about the New York in 1880s and 1980s. This is a wonderful book, and I am thrilled to have found a new author I enjoy. I'm going to go out and get her previous book now.I was given access to this book via Pengiun's First Read's Program.
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  • Shandra Locken
    May 17, 2017
    I really liked this sad and bittersweet story. The characters were believable. They were imperfect and flawed, but mostly likable, as most of us are. It dragged a bit in some parts but the going back and forth in time was not too confusing like it can be in some books. I also like that I didn't figure out the punchline until almost the end. It really kept me guessing. And toward the end, I could not put it down. All in all, a good summer read - a little mystery, a little romance, a little histor I really liked this sad and bittersweet story. The characters were believable. They were imperfect and flawed, but mostly likable, as most of us are. It dragged a bit in some parts but the going back and forth in time was not too confusing like it can be in some books. I also like that I didn't figure out the punchline until almost the end. It really kept me guessing. And toward the end, I could not put it down. All in all, a good summer read - a little mystery, a little romance, a little history, a little family drama.
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  • Cian O hAnnrachainn
    July 26, 2017
    Author Fiona Davis moves her attention from the Barbizon to the Dakota in THE ADDRESS, an intriguing tale that once again intertwines narratives from the past and present.Her modern day (somewhat, as we're in the 1980s here) protagonist is a recovering alcoholic interior decorator who is distantly related to an architect involved in creating the Dakota in New York City. The reader's guide to the past is a British emigre who has come to America to manage the brand new apartment building that the Author Fiona Davis moves her attention from the Barbizon to the Dakota in THE ADDRESS, an intriguing tale that once again intertwines narratives from the past and present.Her modern day (somewhat, as we're in the 1980s here) protagonist is a recovering alcoholic interior decorator who is distantly related to an architect involved in creating the Dakota in New York City. The reader's guide to the past is a British emigre who has come to America to manage the brand new apartment building that the owners hope will become THE address of the upper echelon of society.Bailey Camden is seeking a fresh start by remodeling her rich cousin's flat, and finds a sympathetic ear in the building's superintendent who is also off the drink. They end up discovering some mysterious trunks stowed away in the depths of the Dakota, and that starts Bailey on a quest to find out how exactly she's related to Theo Camden the architect who was murdered by the Dakota's original lady manager.Sara Smythe, the illegitimate daughter of nobility, finds a fresh start as the lady manager of the Dakota, but there's that handsome architect Theo Camden hovering around the fringes, shooting off sparks of sexual attraction. Except he's married with children, wouldn't you know. Well, a girl can't resist, can she, and before long she's up the stick.Scandal doesn't begin to describe her predicament in the 1880's.The story of Sara is revealed to the reader as Bailey uncovers bits and pieces of that narrative, the whole puzzle coming together with some well-crafted tension.Then Ms. Davis creates an ending reminiscent of her earlier work, in which things happen that don't fit what's been set up because she wanted a particular ending. The cruelty of the antagonist comes out of the blue due to a general lack of clues sprinkled in earlier, even though she tries to lay them out at the end.THE ADDRESS is an enjoyable read, in general, and worth the time for fans of historical fiction who enjoy the use of factual details to add depth to a novel.Thanks again to Penguin Random House for the review copy used here.
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  • Jena
    July 21, 2017
    “We all have our own magnificent prisons, even the queen, I’d venture.”I love how fitting this quote is for both narrators in The Address. Each woman, separated by a hundred years, is trapped in a prison unique to them.Sara, a woman in the 1880’s, running a hotel in England before being hired to run a new Apartment building in America is prisoner to the edicts of her time. A woman can only do so much, say so much, and really, are quite powerless in a male dominated society. Not quite nobility, y “We all have our own magnificent prisons, even the queen, I’d venture.”I love how fitting this quote is for both narrators in The Address. Each woman, separated by a hundred years, is trapped in a prison unique to them.Sara, a woman in the 1880’s, running a hotel in England before being hired to run a new Apartment building in America is prisoner to the edicts of her time. A woman can only do so much, say so much, and really, are quite powerless in a male dominated society. Not quite nobility, yet not quite working class, she isn’t sure where she fits and only wants to find her way.“Her mother had done her a disservice, constantly reminding her of her blood connection to nobody, while at the same time cursing her bastardy. She didn’t know where she belonged.”Bailey, living in the 1980’s, isn’t as constrained by society as Sara once was, but finds herself in a prison nonetheless. Hers are more self imposed though, the bars made up of the drugs and alcohol she is addicted to. Bailey is also trying to find her way, wanting to know who she is and where she comes from, since her familial past has always been shrouded in mystery.There is quite a bit to enjoy in this novel. First, historical novels are always a favorite of mine to get lost in, especially one as rich as detailed as the one Davis creates. It isn’t just the time and place that we get a sense of, but also, how difficult it was to simply be a woman. Sara, no matter how successful she is, continues to find herself at the mercy of men. The pieces focused on the asylum are chilling but again, convey a realistic sense of injustice women faced constantly.Sara and Bailey are connected to each other, though neither knows it. Bailey unravels the mystery of the Dakota and her great-grandfathers murder, while Sara gives us the added details leading up to the murder. This is something else I love in novels. When we get to see a mystery from multiple perspectives, each chapter giving us another sliver, another glimpse, each section strategic in it’s reveal.I quite enjoy when novels intertwine stories like this. At the beginning we think we know the story. We have the answer, and are simply filling in the details. Except, as the story proceeds, more questions emerge. It’s fascinating to me, because I think this is how history happens. We think we know answers. We think we know the facts. But just because a narrative fits, it doesn’t mean it’s the truth.Using the Gilded Age was also brilliant. There is underlying discussion on things we desire. Sometimes we want what we can’t have. But we also tend to glamorize those things. Think that they are better and more perfect, than perhaps they really are. Sara wants Theo to be her partner, her husband, her everything. She sees his wife as cold and distant, unappreciative of what she has. Bailey wants to belong by blood, not just name, to the Camden family. She sees her cousin Melinda as spoiled and shallow. Each wants what they don’t have, focused so intently on what they’re missing, perhaps they don’t see what they have in front of them.“You know, I never really thought about the fact that it was called the Gilded Age, as opposed to say, the Golden Age. That the era was all about money and the illusion of success, as opposed to offering anything truly valuable. Reminds me of New York City these days, to be honest with you.”So much of the Gilded Age was seen as shiny on the surface, yet harsh underneath. A pretty exterior to cover the plainness below. And so much of the plot fits that description. The surface shows one thing, while hidden beneath is where the truth lies.Theo, it turns out isn’t quite all that he seems. And neither is his wife. These lies and manipulations unfold leaving Sara to make a quick decision that impacts everyone far into the future. This one decision, her choice, impacts Bailey profoundly.Anyone trying to uncover the hidden truths of the past will struggle with never actually knowing the entire truth. We can only see what is left to us, and decipher these clues as best we can. Sometimes we may get close, other times the truth is nothing near what we could ever have guessed. And I love it when authors are able to give us a story that shows this struggle.Davis is able to give us a sense of both the 1880’s and the 1980’s. Times both known for excess in New York, yet she gives us the perspective of women trying to fit into those worlds. We see the dark side of the city, the pieces that these times would want us to overlook and forget. There is an allure to success, but there is also always a cost.I also really liked how Davis used the idea of legacy. The important families in the 1880’s were defined by their legacies. It was often the most important thing to them. What people would think, who would carry their names forward and what history would say about them. By the 1980’s, many of the families in Sara’s time have died out, or faded into obscurity. Buildings have changed, the city has changed, the legacy isn’t what their ancestors dreamed.Bailey wants to find her history, even though her personal legacy is embroiled in bitterness and anger. Her father wants nothing to do with the Camden’s, believing his grandfather was shunned and rejected. The legacy of even the building, The Dakota, changes over time. In Bailey’s time it is in the midst of evermore change as the shooting of Lennon has once again marked it’s exterior.This book is an excellent examination of women’s role in society. Their power and powerlessness, both in equal measure. It’s a look at what we want, and what happens when we get it. Can women be passionate without being insane? Can we be successful without losing ourselves? What are we willing to lose to keep the ones we love safe? How far will we go for that love?The Address shows how strong women have been throughout history. It gives brilliant insight into the roles of women versus men, rich versus poor, and the lengths we go to for love.This book goes on sale August 1.Thank you to Penguin Random House, Dutton Books and the First To Read program for giving me an early copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Sara
    July 5, 2017
    Thank you to Penguin First to Read for the opportunity to read this book in advance.I'm going to begin with the negatives so that my review can end on a positive note.I have to stop reading dual time-period novels. I really do, they're just not for me. But the covers are so pretty and I love historical fiction so I can't resist, but I've read three in a row now, and all three have been no more than three stars for me. I'd much rather read one continuous story that flows, rather than being cut of Thank you to Penguin First to Read for the opportunity to read this book in advance.I'm going to begin with the negatives so that my review can end on a positive note.I have to stop reading dual time-period novels. I really do, they're just not for me. But the covers are so pretty and I love historical fiction so I can't resist, but I've read three in a row now, and all three have been no more than three stars for me. I'd much rather read one continuous story that flows, rather than being cut off and held in suspense every few chapters so that the time period can change over.If only it wasn't so...cheesy? I guess (I know) I am very harsh critic in terms of realistic conversation and events. I know it's an incredibly hard skill to master, and few do, which makes me appreciate that I can't expect everything I read to fit my stupidly high standards of what I believe sounds like conversation that could truly pass between real-life people and what couldn't. In addition, the Americans in the 1985 part of the story would use Britishisms that just felt inaccurate, and I reasoned that maybe Ms. Davis was English, as a way to move past it/excuse it in my mind. However, she's Canadian, and maybe they say more English phrases there than in America, but I felt that sort of thing could use a bit more editing, a closer eye to detail. Sara, the protagnist of the late-19th century half of the story, was likable; a feminist, a woman who was proud, yet simultaneously aware of her faults and her susceptibility to fall for men. She perhaps seemed too enlightened for her time, though of this I can't be sure, but some of the things she spoke aloud and thought to herself felt very 21st-century feminist to me; thoughts that didn't seem (sorry for the repetition of this word) realistic to me for the time period Sara was in. I enjoyed the setting of The Dakota, in both 1885 and 1985, not knowing much about it other than the heinous murder of John Lennon that happened there in 1980. I have to give credit to Fiona Davis for writing a very page-turning story, one that kept me interested the entire time. There were plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming, and the stories in both time periods were executed very well (cheesiness aside). I guess that's the fun of two time periods, double the mystery, double the shocks.
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  • Bin
    June 26, 2017
    I received this book from First to Read.Although I'm not a fan of historical fiction nor did I know anything about the Dakota, I actually enjoyed this combo of historical facts mixed with fictional drama and mystery.
  • Ashley Wells
    June 26, 2017
    I think a lot of people will find this a very fun beach read, and I did zip through it very quickly - Davis has a light touch with her prose and a great sense of pacing. With books like this that flip back and forth between two different time periods, I often find the present-day storyline much less compelling than the historical one, and that was the case here (as with AS Byatt's Possession and lots of similarly constructed novels). Bailey's storyline is much weaker, with supporting characters I think a lot of people will find this a very fun beach read, and I did zip through it very quickly - Davis has a light touch with her prose and a great sense of pacing. With books like this that flip back and forth between two different time periods, I often find the present-day storyline much less compelling than the historical one, and that was the case here (as with AS Byatt's Possession and lots of similarly constructed novels). Bailey's storyline is much weaker, with supporting characters that fall into easy stereotypes, like the Spoiled Trust Fund Brat and the Shaggy-Haired Love Interest Who Works With His Hands. It doesn't really add anything to the 1885 storyline and in fact spoils some of that story's suspense. Sara's storyline is much more interesting and immersive - I did figure out what was going on but I didn't mind. My only real issue with those chapters is that they get a bit repetitive when Theo Camden is describing his vision for the city - we get it, he wants to move away from ornate kitchen-sink-style architecture and make everything simple, with clean lines. Overall this was fun and entertaining but it could have been really terrific with a bit of tightening.
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  • Jamie Brenner
    June 26, 2017
    A perfect follow-up to last summer's The Dollhouse! Full of lush historical detail and plenty of drama, this page-turning story will keep you gripped and guessing until the end. Loved it.
  • Jen
    June 28, 2017
    Familial heirlooms and legacies can carry with them meaning, a sense of identity, and responsibility. The Address by Fiona Davis explores the meaning that family carries across a century.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Sara Smythe is an efficient manager of hotel maids in her London job, but having caught the attention of a rising American architect Theodore Camden, Sara is persuaded to move across the ocean to be the lady manageret Familial heirlooms and legacies can carry with them meaning, a sense of identity, and responsibility. The Address by Fiona Davis explores the meaning that family carries across a century.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Sara Smythe is an efficient manager of hotel maids in her London job, but having caught the attention of a rising American architect Theodore Camden, Sara is persuaded to move across the ocean to be the lady managerette of a new hotel-type apartment residence called the Dakota. While learning her new duties, Sara and Theo become close, drawing them into a delicate situation that causes Sara to face some daunting issues. 100 years later, in 1985, Bailey Camden is struggling to get back on her feet after a stint in rehab. By finding a place to stay in her cousin Melinda's Dakota apartment, Bailey is charged with renovating the historic space to her cousin's eclectic design tastes. While working to please her cousin, Bailey begins to uncover some intriguing details about their family through the Dakota's history that could mean changing who is entitled to the Camden trust fund.A fast-paced read that straddles historical eras, as well as fact and fiction, the narrative was entertaining and engaging as details are uncovered. Moving between Sara and Bailey's lives, separated by a century, their connection gradually strengthens as Bailey investigates the history of the Dakota and Theo Camden; however, the reveal of how exactly they are connected was rather predictable, as was the actual perpetrator of Theo's demise. Both Sara and Bailey were enjoyable characters, with a spark to their characters that helps portray them as acting upon their own agency, particularly through their quick-thinking and strong sense of humor.
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