The Address: A Novel
By Fiona Davis
Thirty year old Sara Smythe has been head housekeeper at a fancy London hotel for eleven years, and when an opportunity arises to relocate to New York City and forge a new path, she eagerly accepts. Sara will be managing a new apartment building being built on the outskirts of 1885 New York City – a building to be known as “The Dakota” – and she’s both excited and intimidated by the opportunity. The architect, Theo Camden, is persuasive and passionate about the project, and Sara finds that passion catching. Soon she’s managing the large staff that oversees the day to day operations at the famous building, and Sara marvels at her good fortune.
One hundred years later, Bailey Camden is eager to put her interior design skills back to work after a stint in rehab. She’s ready to help her friend Melinda redecorate the large apartment that has been in Melinda’s family for a hundred years, an apartment that happens to be located in the famed Dakota Building. Melinda has very definite ideas of modernizing the space, but Bailey’s not sure she can go along with all of Melinda’s requests.
A series of discoveries leads Bailey to dig deeper into her family history and that of the legendary building she has grown to love. That story is told in parallel with Sara Smythe’s journey from maid to mistress as New York’s Gilded Age sets the scene for the Camden family’s secrets both past and present. Scandal, architecture and high society all blend to make The Address an interesting tale of betrayal and power, of a tangled family saga that sprawls over a century before its secrets are finally set free from the walls of one of the most famous addresses in New York City. The Address is a well-balanced novel of history, duplicity and love, a perfect escape from the dog days of summer!
Joyce Greenfield, ReaderToReader.com