Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: The Dollhouse

Hey everyone! I'm back with another book review. Recently, I joined my school's book club and we read The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. I am really glad that I am apart of book club because I feel like I wouldn't have discovered this book if it wasn't for it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side by side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past.

When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

My Thoughts:

I really liked this book because it had a very unique plot. The book switches between Rose, a journalist, whose life has turned upside down in the span of a few days in 2016, and Darby, a woman who moved from Ohio to New York, in 1952. I love books that have flashbacks and the point of view of multiple characters, hence why All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is one of my favorite books. 

I found the character Rose slightly annoying. She becomes obsessed with the lives of the women that live in her building that were alive when a maid was killed in the '50s. I understood that she was a journalist, but I feel like there should have been more consequences for actions, especially living in someone's apartment for two weeks without them knowing. She deals with a lot of relationship problems (both romantic and with family), and it's obvious that her coping mechanism isn't the best. 

I liked Darby because her point of view was so interesting. She is a young girl that moves from Ohio to New York to go to secretary school. She meets Esme, a maid at the Barbizon Hotel where she lived and gets introduced the jazz scene of the 50s. Darby's life becomes so much more interesting once she meets Sam Buckley, a chef at a downtown Manhattan jazz club. There's so much character development that happens to Darby. She goes from this shy, small-town girl to a woman who truly finds herself. Unfortunately, when there's the time jump she's not like that. 

This book is meant for adult readers, but there's a very thin line between young adult and adult The Dollhouse. There are a few sexual scenes, but those are only a few pages long and not a huge part of the overall plot. I recommend this book because it's easy to read and gets you hooked on page one. 

I hope you look into this book because it's definitely a great read!

Question: What books are you currently reading right now?

                                                                       Christina Madeleine



  1. Ok this one has me intrigued as it sounds quite unique as you say! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  2. Excellent review :) It sounds like a book I'd enjoy despite the multi-character viewpoints (I'm not usually a fan!).

  3. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

  4. Thanks for sharing this kinda book review, i am tempted to grab a copy of the book right away from the fact that is revolves around Rose, a journalist etc. I am happy byou shared this post.



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