The Dollhouse book pdf download for free or read online, also The Dollhouse pdf was written by Fiona Davis.
FIONA DAVIS is the New York Times bestselling author of six historical novels set in iconic New York buildings. Her novels have been selected for One Book, One Community readings and her articles have appeared in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Oprah Magazine.
BookThe DollhouseAuthorFiona DavisLanguageEnglishSize1.4 MBPages306CategoryNovels
The Dollhouse Book PDF download for free
Arriving at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, Darby McLaughlin is everything her model agency roommates are not: plain, shy, nostalgic and totally convinced that she doesn’t belong, an image the models have nothing to disappoint.
However, when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she discovers a whole new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin used there, the amazing sounds of bebop and even the possibility of romance.
More than half a century later, the Barbizon condominium is gone, and most of its former guests forgotten.
But rumors of Darby’s involvement in a fatal skirmish with a hotel maid in 1952 are as sure to flow through the building’s hallways as the melancholy music emanating from the old woman’s rented apartment.
It’s too heady a combination for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist, not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. However, as Rose’s obsession grows, the ethics of her investigation grows more murky, and neither will remain the same when the shocking truth finally emerges.
The Dollhouse Book Pdf Download
When I heard about a book about the Barbizon Hotel for Women I couldn’t wait to read it. Living in Manhattan in the mid-1960s, I met three young women who lived there after graduating from college. Throughout my career I have met numerous senior secretaries who graduated from Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School after living in Barbizon. What stories each had to tell; Fiona Davis is not exaggerating.
Mrs. Davis did her homework well because they describe 1950’s Barbizon perfectly. The hotel resembled a glamorous and expensive dorm, complete with stricter rules when she lived at Mount Holyoke College. While I roamed freely around Manhattan, my Barbizon friends observed a draconian curfew and dress code. It was a godsend for wealthy parents who didn’t want to untie their daughters in Manhattan and for young women who weren’t ready to start their own business.
What a perfect home for Darby McLaughlin, daughter of a mother from hell. Darby, of Little Defiance, Ohio, had no self-esteem thanks to her domineering, socially-climbing mother, who sent her to New York with several self-help books and strict instructions to differentiate herself from Katie Gibbs. Fearing her own shadow, Darby is assigned a room in an apartment occupied by Eileen Ford models. She doesn’t know then, but that’s where Darby’s troubles begin. If the hotel had a room for her in Katie Gibbs’ apartments, most likely there would have been no story.
Completely intimidated by the glamorous and often scathing and obnoxious models, Darby longs for friendship and finds it with Esme, a young Puerto Rican hotel elevator operator. Assisted mixing is prohibited in the Barbizon; This is probably the first act of rebellion in Darby’s life. Esme introduces Darby, humble and shy, to the Manhattan underworld. After their secret date, the two young women visit a bebop club on the Lower East Side, a restricted area for Barbizon girls. Add a little love interest and Darby’s transformation is almost complete.
Cleverly linked to Darby’s story is that of Rose Lewis, a modern day journalist living in the Barbizon. The hotel had been converted to condos a few years earlier when it was turned into a dinosaur. Certain longtime residents have been allowed to remain in their spartan quarters, and Rose dons her investigative journalist’s hat when she learns of an incident between Darby, her downstairs neighbor, and Esme. Darby refuses to talk to Rose, but she successfully persuades other residents, now in their 80s, to remember the old days at the hotel. Pieces of the story surface, but Rose can’t put it all together without Darby’s involvement.
As the story progresses, both women are plagued by problems. Darby becomes obsessed with the alternative lifestyle and neglects her education. Spending the night away becomes her new normal and she feels the euphoria of being separated from her mother. Rose’s boyfriend leaves her without further ado and throws her out of the apartment. And the hits keep coming.
The chapter headings make it easier to delineate the two stories. The tension builds slowly but surely because I have no idea how Darby-Esme’s story is going to develop. But what fun it was to get to the end! The attention to detail is remarkable and entertaining, especially in the chapters set in the 1950s. For example, when Darby’s mother ordered a jello salad, I was reminded that those hideous blobs of billowing green were a must-have on every lady’s lunch menu.
Although I wanted to solve the Darby Esme story, I enjoyed this book. The writing flowed effortlessly. The transition between years 1951-2 and 2016 was really seamless. The story might have been choppy for a less experienced writer. The characters were wonderful and well developed. I felt genuine sympathy for Darby and Rose and will not soon forget them.
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