The Girl From the Savoy

The Girl From the Savoy

Book - 2016
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"Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life. When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor--she must remain invisible and unimportant. But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something. Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close--but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?"--From publisher.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, 2016
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION GAY
Characteristics: 419 p. ; 21 cm


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May 05, 2018

I chose this book to read specifically because I was currently watching Downton Abbey, and I wanted to read more of the location and time period- 1920's England- and this fit the bill. They both focus on the whole 'upstairs-downstairs' dichotomy of those in service, and those being served. It seemed to be quite historically accurate, which I appreciated. Gaynor even dealt with PTSD and other post war issues very well. My issue lay specifically with the pacing and the characters. The book was too long, too meandering at points, and I found myself quickly losing interest about 75 pages in. Too much time was spent on the in-between here- Dolly working at the Savoy, before she starts meeting with Perry and Loretta.
Speaking of Dolly, her story and character read like a Mary Sue fanfiction of the 1920's stage. She's a nobody, a maid, and she gets 'discovered' by one of the biggest stage stars of the decade and becomes a star herself? Loretta sees to it personally that Dolly becomes a big star. How nice and convenient for her. Not to mention that EVERYONE that meets her (I'm not exaggerating) says that Dolly is going to be a star, that she's important, that she's destined for greater things than cleaning hotel rooms. We get it, she's the protagonist who gets to see all her grandest wishes come true. You don't need to spell it out for us.
Also, the ending is rushed, and we don't get to see what happens after all the prep of the book. There's all this build up, and zero payoff.
As a little slice of historical fiction, this is great. As a story about Dolly, it's really not. I'm torn how to rate it, but ultimately, it dragged too much, and for me, the enjoyment of the era got lost in Dolly's stage ambitions.

Apr 30, 2017

Way too much of a light romance for me, and ultimately I found it boring. Of course she's a 'Cinderella' - beautiful, lovely and poor. Of course he's a 'Prince' of a man - wealthy, talented and handsome. Yawn. Didn't finish it.

Apr 11, 2017

I enjoyed this book and the time period, however, was not a fan of the ending. The author's other books "A Memory of Violets" and "The Girl Who Came Home" I preferred over this one.

Sep 13, 2016

Perfect story for a BBC series! Just a really nice story of a working girl who aspires to greater things, a revered actress with a shattering secret, a shell shocked WW1 soldier, and a composer needing a muse. Very pleasant read!

Sep 13, 2016

as all her book this wAs superb such a mixture of feelings to be found!! Best read year to date !

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