Historical fiction is a genre that can open your eyes to a whole new part of history that you had no idea about. This is exactly what this book did for me. Being based in New York during the Sylvia Plath era (who wrote The Bell Jar), I learned about a whole new period of time that was a crucial turning point for women and told in a great story.
The Dollhouse, by Fiona Davis is a fast-paced, and interesting historical fiction novel. You are thrust between two characters that live in the same building in New York. Rose, a modern day journalist, and Darby, a young woman who had gone to secretary school and was staying at the iconic Barbizon Hotel in 1952. The story is based on the mystery of what had happened between a maid, and Darby herself… ending in a death. As Rose begins to uncover small snippets from the guests who have lived their since the time of the Barbizon, she begins to learn that there is a lot more to the mystery than meets the eye.
Like I said earlier, this novel is based in the Sylvia Plath era, which I had no clue about until The Dollhouse peaked my interest. I thought it was such a clever way to give a nod to this era of women, without focusing on the real, famous women that actually lived in the Barbizon Hotel. The list includes:
- Sylvia Plath
- Joan Didion
- Joan Crawford
- Liza Minelli
- Grace Kelly
- Jaclyn Smith
- Lauren Bacall
- Candice Bergen
The Barbizon Hotel for Women, packed to the rafters with pretty little dolls. Just like you.
Anywho, I thought Fiona Davis did a dazzling job in this debut novel. I read this book in two days, and was constantly picking it up to read it in my stolen moments. If you are a historical fiction or mystery fan you will love this one. Think a mix of Agatha Christie and The Great Gatsby! I am looking forward to picking up her next one, The Address.
Anywho, that’s all for today, happy reading!