This was one of those books that was a Free Friday Nookbook. I must say I enjoyed it very much. I love how the author intertwined a good story of all sorts with the history of New York in this case, back in the 1950's. The characters were interesting. The author went back and forth then and today, which bothers me in books. But not The DollHouse. It told a story than, in 1950s and followed it up today 2016, which made perfect sense. DollHouse named for the "Dolls" who lived there.
Who knew that Rose a journalist, would find a story in history of the Barbizon, a women-only hotel in the last century. And the tallest in the neighborhood back then. The whole idea was to create a private club type building for women. Hotel guests had to supply three character references. She found out from the other ladies that they stripped the place of all it's character when they went condo. The powerful feeling like walking into a Moroccan bazaar was gone.
Darby McLaughlin so new to the city and naive, with book in hand titled "The Art of Conversation" tried to learn to be on her own. Rose tried to get this story written but to no avail. Seasoned as she was, the rest of the office were of bright young things. She preferred long-form writing, which didn't put her as a young bright thing. But Rose went about to do her story. She liked collecting facts and making a story out of them. At its perfection, science and art.
She had to tell this story of this hotel, of these bright young things. It just wasn't Darby, it was the other women also who came from different backgrounds.To be models, secretaries who tried to make it in a man's world. Because for Rose she seen some of her own life in theirs. Rose wanted to find out the ones who live there now what they thought of change from a women's hotel to a condo. Darby McLaughlin was the link how women were treated in 1950 and the way they are now. She found the girls come to NY City only to learn a skill until they found "Mr. Right". Rose followed the story and found another part of Darby's story, Esme Castillo. Why were they fighting? And what else happened? What did she do with her life that makes her so unforgettable ? She made a friend Esme. Had a boyfriend, Sam. Sang in a jazz club and tried to do the right thing by her friend Esme, when she did the wrong thing. Her fault I guess, just to care. It's about losing people you love, being alone in a big city with nothing more than four walls of your apartment"
And after that Darby seemed to just fade in the distance. As Rose puts it Darby had a swagger almost, an elegant mystery.
Connecting their stories with Rose, Rose who was pushed aside by a married boyfriend, her dad with dementia (that I know all too well), and was giving a good stiff talking to by Darby and Stella (one of the other ladies). Rose had fears. If lonely and scared, deal with it now, they told her. Life only gets lonelier and scarier no matter how many people fill your home and heart. "It's up to you". So Rose did just that. Made decisions about her dad and Jason who she became closer to after the mess of Griff.
I give The DollHouse 5
Will be looking forward to other books of this author.