A friend from book club told me her daughter had written her first novel, and as a “collector”of debut novels, I was immediately interested. I had to wait a couple of months for the book to come out for sale, but the novel was well worth waiting for!
It is the story of the Barbizon , a “proper” and safe hotel, a “suitable” residence for young women searching for fame, careers, and husbands in New York City. The Dollhouse is set in (and chapters alternate between) the 1950’s and 2016. It is the story of Darby (and Sam and Esme, her new friends) in 1950. Darby is a student at The Gibbs Secretarial School, a “plain girl” hosteled on then same floor of the Glamorous Ford Agency models.
In 2016, Rose, also a Barbizon girl, is employed as a journalist and has a tinge of scandal of her own. Her lover, Griffin, who has political aspirations and Jason, a photographer who helps Rose investigate Darby’s scandal and mystery, also appear in the story.
But, most of all it is the story of The Barbizon .
For me, this was a fascinating read, a real page turner which reveals its mystery like the peeling of the layers of the cliched onion. I would give this fantastic novel a 5 out of 5 rating .