Monday, December 7, 2020

The Chelsea Girls: A Novel by Fiona Davis

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

The bright lights of the theater district, the glamour and danger of 1950s New York, and the wild scene at the iconic Chelsea Hotel come together in a dazzling new novel about a twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women's lives. Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City's creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red Scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine's Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.

my thoughts:

What a fabulous book! I absolutely LOVED The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis. The paperback edition comes out tomorrow and I am excited to get my hands on a copy to add to my collection. You definitely need to check out this fun and exciting story set in New York at the famous Chelsea Hotel - THE haven for artists, creatives,  and musicians.  The story takes place during the 1940s through the 1960s and it covers a host of issues, history, and politics.  We have the complexities of female friendship to sift through, along with the fears of McCarthyites pounding on your door asking for names. It was fascinating and thrilling to read all about it. 

At the heart of the story is dynamic duo, Maxine Mead and Hazel Riley - two friends who are reunited at the Chelsea Hotel. They've each found a bit of success in their own right and have decided to make their mark in NYC.  They reside at the Chelsea Hotel and are surrounded by every kind of creative-minded individual you can imagine.  Life is exciting, thrilling, and filled with hope, hard work, and creativity.  Except, life can also turn out to be difficult and filled with politics that can ruin a life.  Yep, McCarthyism is sweeping the nation and knocking on the Chelsea Hotel's doors.  Yikes! Looks like Maxine and Hazel are headed for a rather difficult time. 

Fiona Davis has written a terrific story with such richly developed characters, you can't help but want to keep reading about them. And, I'm including the Chelsea Hotel when I'm talking about the characters, because that building is mostly definitely a character in itself. I just loved getting to know Maxine and Hazel and the denizens of the Chelsea. Plus, the descriptions of the hotel and city are so much fun to take in. I just loved reading this book. 

I would definitely recommend The Chelsea Girls to fans of Davis and to anyone looking for their next great read - you don't want to miss this one!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

1 comment:

Lark said...

The setting of this one alone makes me want to read it. :)