Salutations! To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander will be available on August 8. It is the final chapter in A Belle Meade Plantation series. You can find details about the series, a discussion guide for To Wager Her Heart, and a tour of Belle Meade here. I will be reviewing To Wager Her Heart on August 7.
The Address is the second novel by Fiona Davis. Sara J. Smythe is the head housekeeper at Langham Hotel in London in June 1884. Sara happens to notice a little girl walking on the ledge outside a hotel room and rushes to rescue her. Theodore Camden, the child’s father and an architect, offers Sara a job in New York at The Dakota. The Dakota is a fancy apartment house with hotel amenities. Sara, after some thought, accepts the position and sails for New York. She arrives at The Dakota and finds herself promoted to managerette. Sara works closely with Theo in getting the building ready for its new occupants. Life is full of possibilities in America. Will Sara find the happiness she has been yearning for in America?
Bailey Camden has just been released from Silver Hill, a rehab facility, in New York in 1985. She was hoping to return to her position at Crespo and O’Reilly, but it seems Bailey burned her bridges with them. Her last hope is her cousin, Melinda. Melinda and her twin brother, Manvel own an apartment in the Upper West Side of New York at The Dakota. Bailey has loved the building since she was a child. Her grandfather was a ward of Theodore Camden, who was murdered in that very apartment. Melinda is redecorating and offers the job to Bailey along with a place to live. Melinda’s “style” involves ripping out all the beautiful woodwork and vintage features of the gilded age apartment. In the storage area of the building, Bailey uncovers trunks belong to Theodore Camden and Sara Smythe. Secrets that have long been hidden are about to come to light. Bailey embarks on a journey of discovery. Dark family secrets have a way of coming forth into the light.
I felt that Fiona Davis did a notable job at capturing the historical time-period and setting of New York at it was being developed in 1884. The Dakota (which is a real building in New York and can be viewed online) was a unique apartment building, and I loved reading about the beautiful details put into the building (along with the gorgeous dress descriptions). I preferred Sara’s chapters over Bailey’s (especially in the beginning). In a way, I wish the whole novel had been about Sarah and what happened to her. It was interesting to see how Ms. Davis tied the past to Bailey Camden in 1985. I am rating The Address 3 out of 5 stars. The story is interesting but it has an expected ending (especially regarding Theodore). I was hoping the author would surprise me, but I was let down. I accurately guessed how the story would play out. I found the pace of the novel to be slow which can be attributed to the amount of detail provided by the author. While I love her descriptions and historical accuracy, the do make for a slow-moving story. Bailey’s chapters had a faster pace but they were less captivating (the 80s hold little appeal with the terrible fashions, party lifestyle, and the horrible Palm Beach/Miami Vice type décor). I am not enamored with the alternating chapters (the past and present) which seems to be very common lately in books. The Address ended up being a romance novel with a little mystery thrown in. Update: After describing The Address to my mother, she decided to read it. While she did find some of it predictable, she loved it. She preferred the historical portions to the 1980s and loved the ending.
I appreciate you visiting today. My current book is Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber (I cannot resist her books). I hope each of you have a terrific Thursday. I will be sharing my thoughts on The Stepchild by Joanne Fluke on Friday. Take care, stay dry (it has been raining buckets in my area) and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader