I received this book for free from the Library, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor
Narrator: Jennifer Jones, Lucy Rayner, Paul Fox
Published by HarperAudio, William Morrow Genres: Fiction / Historical / General
Length: 14 hours 20 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, Publisher
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Presenting a dazzling new historical novel … The Girl From The Savoy is as sparkling as champagne and as thrilling as the era itself.
‘Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …’
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?
This was just okay for me. I have previously read another book by this author which I really enjoyed, A Memory of Violets, so I expected that the same would hold true for this book. I didn’t dislike the book but it never really hooked me so I always found it easy to set aside. I have had this book on my tbr for ages so I am glad that I finally took the time to give it a try.
This book is told from three points of view. Dolly Lane tells most of the story. She starts working as a maid at the Savoy as the book opens. She has dreams of finding success on the stage and will work hard to make it happen. She has had a painful past which is slowly revealed throughout the story. Loretta May is the second point of view. She has found fame and enjoys being in the spotlight but something in her life has her re-evaluating things. We occasionally see things from Teddy’s perspective. He is the man that Dolly loved who has come back from war a changed man.
I felt like this book took a very long time to set up the story. Things didn’t get moving until the midpoint of the book. I found the characters to be likable enough but I don’t feel like I was ever completely related to them. There were times that I felt like the book was overly long and dragged a bit. In some situations, things seemed a little too convenient. Ultimately, I felt like the book meandered a little too much for my taste and I was less than satisfied by how everything worked out. I loved the descriptions of the time period and liked the scenes that dealt with the more difficult topics the most.
The three narrators did a wonderful job in bringing this story to life. I really liked how distinctive each voice was so that the change in point of view always flowed smoothly. I thought that they all added the right amount of emotion to the story and handled character dialogue well. I do believe that their narration added to my enjoyment of the story.
I think that most readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did. It was a good book but it wasn’t perfect. Unfortunately, the story never completely clicked for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of this author’s work in the future.
I received a digital review copy of the book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.