An enjoyable decent historical fiction.
I belong to an awesome book club and every month a member chooses a book for us to read. This was July’s choice. It’s not a book I would normally pick up to read, but that’s why we join book clubs, right? I love historical fictions. This one wasn’t too bad, although most of the plot points were fairly predictable. I enjoyed reading about the history of The Dakota and the development of NYC in the late 1800’s. I didn’t realize just how undeveloped the city was at that time. It’s wild to think that this area of the city was considered the “boondocks”. 🙂
The story is set in two time periods and flips between them throughout the book. The two main characters are head housekeeper Sara Smythe (1884-1885) and Bailey Camden (1985), an interior designer that recently completed drug and alcohol rehab.
Sara is working as head housekeeper in a hotel in England when she has a chance meeting with architect Theodore Camden. He’s impressed with her, and convinces her to move to NYC to become the manager of what is going to be the greatest apartment building in NYC, The Dakota. Sara is not sure she is up to the task, but the opportunity is too great to pass up. Much of her story centers on getting the building ready for occupation and the relationships she develops doing so. Bailey’s story centers on her effort to rehabilitate her reputation in the interior design industry, staying sober and navigating a delicate relationship with a flighty cousin that lives in an apartment in The Dakota. Her cousin hires Bailey to re-design her apartment, but is determined to strip it of everything that makes it unique with an awful, modern design. As the book progresses, the story lines converge.
I liked the writing and the concept of the book. It only gets a 3.5 because the story lines were predictable and I knew what was going to happen almost from the beginning.