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The Dollhouse
The Dollhouse: A Novel | Fiona Davis
"The Dollhouse. . . . That's what we boys like to call it. . . . The Barbizon Hotel for Women, packed to the rafters with pretty little dolls. Just like you." Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950's a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past. When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance. Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.
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review
xxjenadanxx
Pickpick

Book 4 of #24in48

In the 50‘s the Barbizon was THE hotel for single women in the city. 60 years later it has been converted to condos but a number of the women have stayed in their home at the Barbizon all these years. When Rose, journalist and resident of 5B, encounters one of these mysterious women on the elevator she realizes there must be a story to be had and begins to dig. What she finds is a story of love, jazz music and tragedy.

Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻 2d
61 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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MrBook
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I‘ve signed up for #24in48, but I think the chance of me reading for 24 hours is very slim considering I‘ll be in #NYC all of Sunday, lol. Go onward and upward anyway, I say! 😁

My 3 I‘ll be journeying through. Have you read any of them?!

Nerdy_Bookworm I just finished The Dollhouse tonight. It was pretty good! 3d
janeycanuck Rules of Civility is excellent! 2d
kspenmoll Rules of civility is a great choice- 2d
81 likes3 comments
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Nerdy_Bookworm
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Figured I'd give this a try! I've heard great things about it!

Mitch Oh yes.... you‘ve reminded me that‘s on my TBR - when it came out lots of good stuff said. 🤞🏼 5d
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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marleed
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Pickpick

I can‘t resist a story set in 1950s NYC and my physical TBR for this genre is a rather tall stack. This was a fun read even if I did find the 2016 researcher of said story a bit annoying.

marleed And OMG I just realized this matches my post from yesterday - yet another sprite elderly lady with a story to tell. Geez I‘m on a roll with this genre! 2w
57 likes1 comment
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Samplergal
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Pickpick

A fun twisty book. 4🌟

marleed Just stacked! My favorite time period and city for a fun book! And it‘s available soon from my library. I had to put an immediate suspend to it because I also see I have 4 holds dropped in my queue! 4w
101 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Samplergal
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Surprisingly good! I‘m about 1/2 way through.. easy reading. A little history, a little mystery, intrigue.

lynneamch I loved it. This one was really good, too. 1mo
Cathythoughts I think I‘d like to give this one a go ... stacked 4w
104 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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laur89
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Pickpick

Throughly enjoyed this story. The history of 1950‘s NYC was fascinating to me, especially the facts about the Barbizon Hotel. The characters were all likable and the format of the book (switching back and forth between 1952 and 2016 NYC) kept me hooked! Quick read, filled with mystery and romance.

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laur89
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“The waiter came with their food, two plates of wobbly green Jell-O mold in which slices of olives, celery, and cheese floated, garnished with lettuce and tomato.”

I can say with confidence that my face looked something like this when I read this line: 😳🤨🤢

I‘m a huge foodie, and I love the 1950‘s, but this is a huge “no” from me. 😂

shellleigh33 🤢 1mo
SilversReviews LOVED The Dollhouse, and I love this photo. 1mo
14 likes3 comments
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laur89
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Morning plans: Breakfast & check-in at the Barbizon Hotel!
🏨🛎🧳

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laur89
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This has to be one of my favorite things:
>When a book makes a reference to another book (even better when it‘s one I read and liked!)

I was pleasantly surprised to find out this was a historical fiction book. Not usually a genre I read, but I‘m fascinated with the stories about 1950‘s New York, and the true bits of history intertwined throughout!

rethier1 Same for me! It was super interesting learning about the Barbizon! I enjoyed this one. 1mo
laur89 @rethier1 I didn‘t even know that it was going to be a huge part of the plot!! It‘s turning out to be very interesting 👍🏼👍🏼 1mo
11 likes2 comments
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laur89
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“During high school she‘d preferred novels to her classmates: They were in every way easier to read.”

I can totally relate!
~
A hotel full of young, aspiring women from wealthy families, with a history of housing famous writers and actresses... sounds like a tough crowd to socialize with, if you happened to be from a small town. 😬

Eggs Love this photo🤗 1mo
laur89 @Eggs I did too!! Great Google find - there‘s tons of cool pics of the Barbazon Hotel 🏨 1mo
12 likes1 stack add2 comments
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laur89
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The #TBR goblet has spoken - I‘m loving having #Libby on this iPad mini!! 🥳

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Darby is a little #homesick when she arrives at the Barbizon Hotel in 1952 until she meets Ezme, the Barbizon maid, and is introduced to another side of New York City.
More that half a century later, Rose, a journalist, lives downstairs from Darby in the Barbizon which has now been turned into condos is intrigued by the rumors surrounding Darby and the death of a hotel maid. As she delves into the past neither woman will be the the same.

OriginalCyn620 That sounds good! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @OriginalCyn620 all of her books are great!! 2mo
See All 7 Comments
litenthusiast This book is so good! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @litenthusiast it is!! I can‘t wait for her new one !! 2mo
SilversReviews LOVE her book...great photo. 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @SilversReviews me too!! Thank you ❤️ 2mo
74 likes7 comments
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IamIamIam
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Bailedbailed

I'm done... I didn't like anybody in this book, the was so much superfluous information and the reveal was total crap. I expected so much more and I just don't care about anything. I'm angry that I wasted more time than necessary on these idiots.
#unpopularopinion #IreallyHATEchicklit

Reagan-reads Hahaha I loved the hashtag. It is not a genre that I typically get behind, with very rare exceptions. 3mo
IamIamIam @Reagan-reads Lol, occasionally I can get caught up in a sappy story but this was just awful! 3mo
36 likes2 comments
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IamIamIam
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I absolutely do NOT get stereotypical catty women relationships and this book is FULL of them! Lol, stories like these make me happy I grew up with brothers... so far Esme is mad at Darby for trying to get along with Stella. I want to smack them all... 👊

Mdargusch I couldn‘t finish this book. That relationship seemed too unrealistic. 3mo
IamIamIam @Mdargusch I'm glad I'm not alone. I'm just not feeling any of these characters, Rose included. They're all so offputting! 3mo
Mdargusch I definitely feel like I was in the minority on this one. 3mo
IamIamIam @Mdargusch At least there's 2 of us! 😂 It came highly recommend to me also. I'm just not feeling it. I'm glad it's on audio because I'm more than halfway through! I'd have given up if it was print!! Now I need to know where the scar came from, though. And who squats in a total stranger's apartment?! Lol 3mo
43 likes4 comments
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IamIamIam
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Oy vey... real chick lit this, huh?

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melissajayne
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Pickpick

Overall a pretty good book. I liked the premise of the story an Overall a pretty good book. I liked the premise of the story and was a page turner. 4⭐️ #24hourreadathon #deweysreadathon

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melissajayne
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Book no. 3 for #deweysreadathon #24hourreadathon. Need something a little lighter.

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SaraHasClass
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Pickpick

Mystery & intrigue surround the Barbizon Hotel & the women who lived there then (1952) & now (2016). Reporter, Rose finds herself in a mess when life goes sideways so she digs into the suspicious death of a maid who lived in her building & begins to live vicariously through the one responsible. The juxtaposition of women in the 50s and now, was an interesting take on feminism. This is a great story with likeable characters.

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BethM
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Pickpick

What an odd, intriguing book. I wasn't riveted but I think I liked it. The end was a bit abrupt though. 3/5

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BethM
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Here‘s my unexciting #litsywalkers view but I‘m sill trying to cultivate new habits :) The tagged book is much better in print as this audio narrator makes both Rose and Darby a bit whiney.

Kaye Keep up the good work. 6mo
DarcysMom Good job! 6mo
51 likes2 comments
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BethM
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You guys it has been a day. An emotional day. On top of which my husband invited his friend and misbehaved kids up north this weekend to my in-laws 🤦‍♀️The kindness and love here has been a bright spot all day long. Littens are the best kinds of people. Settling in to read for a quick half hour before needing to go to bed.

JacqMac I hope tomorrow is a better day. 6mo
Avanders Oh no... 🤦🏽‍♀️ I hope it‘s a good weekend anyway.. or can you... ya know, sit this one out? 😁😘♥️ 6mo
TrishB Hope today is better❤️ 6mo
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LeeRHarry Hope things improve quickly 💕 6mo
4thhouseontheleft 💞💞💞 6mo
45 likes6 comments
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BethM
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I haven‘t been on here or reading enough this week. As my agency has been trying to figure out how to move forward with the shutdown I‘ve been on fb and CNN far too much. So tonight and tomorrow Litsy and reading only. Reading and listening to this one to get it done for my IRL book club. It‘s odd bc I‘m relatively intrigued but don‘t really like any of the characters thus far.

BookBabe Yikes, good luck with all that! 🤞🏻 A couple good reading days sounds like just what you need. ❤️ I enjoyed this book very much. But true — not the most likable characters 6mo
JenReadsAlot I've been thinking of you... 6mo
BethM @BookBabe @JenReadsAlot thanks ladies. 6mo
44 likes3 comments
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BethM
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Starting this for my IRL book club. However please note my new super awesome, nerdy pj pants. I loves them my precious.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Woah! I love the pants! 💫 6mo
Kaye Lost in Space 6mo
kstadt929 Oh my gosh!! I need these pants!! ❤️ 6mo
Avanders Lol your pj pants are amazing 😍😍 6mo
41 likes4 comments
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EmilyM
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Pickpick

This was an entertaining read. I learned some history about the Barbizon Hotel, and I enjoyed the alternating perspectives for each chapter between past and present. I felt that the characters were not developed as much as I typically like in my books, but a light, easy, quick read. ⭐⭐⭐/5

SilversReviews LOVED this book and all of her books. 7mo
EmilyM @SilversReviews I am intrigued enough to read her others! 7mo
SilversReviews @EmilyM ENJOY...they all are VERY good. 😊 7mo
25 likes3 comments
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Lauram
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There‘s cleaning, baking, wrapping, and laundry waiting to be done today. But for the next hour, I‘m going to enjoy a new book and this Duck Donut.

Judybskt Loved that book!! And Duck Donuts - yum!! 7mo
SilversReviews LOVE her books...this was a favorite. ENJOY!! 7mo
BrittanyReads Loved that one!! 7mo
64 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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SheReadsAndWrites
Dollhouse | Fiona Davis
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Trying to decide what to read for #25infive 🤓 #somanybookssolittletime

Freespirit I loved Our Souls at Night and Eleanor Oliphant. Highly recommend them both😊 7mo
SheReadsAndWrites Yay! Thank you! @Freespirit 7mo
Freespirit Tell me what you think😘 7mo
Andrew65 Dollhouse, followed by Eleanor Oliphant. Good luck! 7mo
31 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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“Being up so high above the city made her troubles seem less dramatic.”

#Adventrecommends
Day #3

Love love love all of this author‘s books!!

Andrew65 Read two of hers and loved them both but not read this first. My favourite so far is The Address! (edited) 8mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Andrew65 yes!!! And she has a new one coming out in July!! 8mo
Andrew65 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I clearly need to keep up! 8mo
cobwebmoth Thank you for the card! You are so kind.❤ 8mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @cobwebmoth you‘re welcome!! ❤️😘 8mo
116 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Reecaspieces
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I wanted to post about my audio reads for this month. Here they all are! Check them out! https://reecaspieces.com/2018/10/29/audible-reads-for-october-audible-audiblerea...

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Eggs
Dollhouse | Fiona Davis
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Recently enjoying the inspiring and #thoughtprovoking works of Fiona Davis #31bookpics @howjessreads

Crazeedi I've enjoyed her books! 9mo
78 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Acterry81
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Really loved this one! Fiona Davis is becoming a fast favorite of mine!

4 likes1 stack add
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Howseldomtheydo
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Interesting article about the Barbizon Hotel and some of the famous women who lived there. https://lithub.com/on-the-barbizon-hotel-and-the-women-writers-who-lived-there/ #currentlyreading

Zelma Thanks for posting. I‘ll read this article for some more context before the novel. 10mo
Howseldomtheydo @Zelma You‘re welcome 😉 10mo
80 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Kboltz
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Pickpick

Good book and story, the author uses historical buildings as her backdrop, you get to learn about the historical past. Love this idea, will read her other books👍🏼This one is based on the NYC hotel called The Barbizon Hotel for Women from the 1950s.

9 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBlue
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Hurricane is headed towards us, so I had to take a library trip. Two thrillers, two chick lits, and a wildcard. Prepared!!
We‘re keeping an eye on the storm. If it still looks like it‘ll flood by us, we‘re heading to a friend‘s house in a zone that‘s not even zoned for evacuation. Kitties, dude, and I will be safely reading this one out!

AmyG Be safe! 10mo
QuietlyLaura Stay safe! Keep us posted. 10mo
irre Stay safe 10mo
See All 6 Comments
HeatherBlue Thanks everyone!! 💙 10mo
Prairiegirl_reading I hope it‘s all good! 10mo
akckitty Stay safe!! 💜 10mo
55 likes6 comments
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Lauram
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I can‘t remember the last time I bought a stack of new books that weren‘t for graduate school or work-related. #treatyoself #catsoflitsy #blackcatsoflitsy #blamelitsy

QuietlyLaura Kitty! 😻 11mo
Judybskt I‘ve read all but The Perfect Stranger. Loved them!! 11mo
BrittanyReads All on my TBR! But currently reading 11mo
CatGV Ahhh kitties make everything better! Even though a stack of books is already great on its own. By the way, what are you studying at the graduate level? I am finishing my bachelor's in May and then whoosh! Off to graduate studies :) 11mo
Lauram @CatGV I finished graduate school many, many years ago(12 years). I only wrote that to point out how much time had really passed since I bought myself a great stack of books. Good luck with school. What do you intend to study in grad school? 11mo
85 likes5 comments
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Ncostell
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book centered on the Barbizon Hotel for Women. It was told in two storylines, one set in the 1950s when it was a haven for young career women in NYC and the other set in modern day when it has been converted into condos. I liked comparing and contrasting the lives of the two main protagonists in their parallel stories. I‘m going to see Fiona Davis speak on a historical fiction panel in September and am looking forward to it!

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 11mo
71 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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2 of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors!! I can‘t wait to get The Masterpiece 💗💗

#NewYork
#Augustisatrip

Judybskt I loved The Dollhouse. Looking forward to The Address. 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Judybskt sooooo good!!!!! 11mo
Suzze I so need to read these! 11mo
See All 10 Comments
Judybskt @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks We did The Dollhouse for book club. Maybe I will pick The Address for November. 11mo
Andrew65 @Judybskt Loved the Address! Would make a great book club book. (edited) 11mo
vkois88 Gorgeous! 😍 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @vkois88 thank you ❤️ 11mo
vkois88 😘😘 11mo
Ncostell I‘m reading The Dollhouse now and am really enjoying it. I‘m going to see her at a historical fiction panel in September being held at Mohegan Sun in CT. Can‘t wait! 11mo
121 likes10 comments
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cynswanauthor
Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging novel about life in the Barbizon Hotel for Women in 1950s NYC. I was caught up in the details and twisty elements. Davis clearly did her research on this time period and specific locale.

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Bookish_B
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Pickpick

This book alternates between Rose in 2016 New York and Darby in 1952 with the Barbizon Hotel for Women as the link between the two. I really enjoyed both stories (though maybe the 1950s a little more). The entire book maybe doesn't hold up to close scrutiny but it didn't bother me except for the end. Without giving anything away, I just felt the actions of the characters (one particular) were quite a stretch. Still, I'd recommend it.

collegecatlady I love this photo! 13mo
Bookish_B @collegecatlady Thank you! 13mo
Ashley85 Ahhh looks so refreshing 🍹👍🏾 13mo
See All 6 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm That drink! 🍹😋 13mo
tammysue You take the loveliest photos! 😍 13mo
Bookish_B @whatshesreadingnow thank you so much! 😊 13mo
46 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Christine
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Missing Litsy a lot, after a crazy week of end of school year, and houseguests, and prep for a 10-day road trip with my husband and not-low-maintenance kids. 😛 So not much reading in my recent past or near future! 😕 But the road trip has been a good adventure so far, and this was an especially fun find for me when we stopped at a neighborhood park in Vail to let the kids run around! 📚💙 (I chose the tagged book from the LFL as a souvenir.)

monalyisha Beautiful scenery! 13mo
SilversReviews THE DOLLHOUSE was a great book. Love your photo...thanks for sharing. 13mo
Zelma Great scenery and bonus with the little library! 👏 13mo
See All 7 Comments
tammysue Beautiful! And that little library! 👍🏻😊 13mo
Christine @SilversReviews Great to hear re: The Dollhouse! I‘m looking forward to giving it a try. :) (edited) 13mo
SilversReviews @Christine It was very good. Enjoy when you read it. 13mo
64 likes7 comments
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Howseldomtheydo
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Tashreads Loved Fingersmith! 13mo
Howseldomtheydo @Tashreads Good to hear. I think it‘s been on my TBR list forever! 13mo
SilversReviews OOOOO...awesome stack. LOVED The Dollhouse. 13mo
See All 6 Comments
emilyhaldi 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 13mo
120 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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#Chasingpavements

Two of my favorite books with pavements on the cover ❤️

#AdelesMayMashup

JoScho Love your house ❤️ 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @JoScho thank you so much!! 💗😘 1y
Ingerella I agree with @JoScho ! Such a pretty house! 1y
See All 17 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Ingerella thank you!! I love it ❤️ 1y
Trashcanman What a creative picture, I love it. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Trashcanman thank you!! I was going to take one in the street, but didn‘t want to be hit by a car!! 🤣🤣 My neighbors already think I‘m odd for posing my books with flowers and stuff in the yard!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 1y
GripLitGrl Lovely photo😍 1y
vkois88 Beautiful as always 😘😘😘 1y
tammysue What a creative idea for a photo! 😍👍🏻 1y
Kaye Very cute house and nice picture as always. Can you tell me what the other book is ? I can‘t see it close enough. Thank you 😊 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Kaye thank you!! The Address! Soooo good!! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @whatshesreadingnow thank you!! ☺️☺️ 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @vkois88 thanks!! 😘😘 1y
Kaye Thanks , Misty 🌷 1y
Mdargusch I want your house! Another great photo! ❤️ 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Mdargusch thank you so much!! I love it!! 1y
110 likes17 comments
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Eggs
Dollhouse | Fiona Davis
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Pickpick

Connected storylines (1952 and 2016) of characters at (not fictional) Barbizon Hotel in NYC make a great novel. Now made into condos, the Barbizon housed young, single, up-and-coming women in mid 20th century, almost like a dormitory (Cybill Shepherd, Liza Minnelli, Joan Didion, Sylvia Plath etc).

Ruthiella Did the character in The Bell Jar not stay here (or similar)? 1y
SilversReviews AWESOME books...great photo. 1y
Eggs Thanks @SilversReviews 😊 1y
Eggs @ruthiella Plath's MC in Bell Jar was the autobiographical representation of author, so yes, I believe so. 1y
97 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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Eggs
Dollhouse | Fiona Davis
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A beautiful day in Austin TX!! Windows open with gentle breezes, with a chorus of birds nearby. May start the tagged book.

What are you reading??

Cathythoughts Looks gorg In Austin, started the tagged book ... havnt got too far tho. Spent today on granddaughter duty .. we had a laugh , but hopefully get back to this book later 💙 (edited) 1y
Redwritinghood Hopefully, finishing up 1y
See All 11 Comments
Nute Spending time revisiting speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. 1y
Soubhiville It‘s lovely here in Knoxville TN today as well! I‘m finishing Britt-Marie Was Here and continuing with Duma Key. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks It‘s sooo good!!! 1y
80 likes11 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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#Aprella
2 of my favorite books set in New York!! And some goodies that my sweet friend @Cinfhen sent me from #NewYork 🤗💗📚💕

Reviewsbylola I read The Dollhouse but I didn‘t realize she had another book! 1y
Mdargusch Good choices! Those are perfect 👍🏼 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Reviewsbylola she has a third one coming out in August!!! 1y
See All 10 Comments
Hollie New York settings are awesome and so is your photo staging ability! 1y
Cinfhen Gotta agree with my girl @Hollie awesome photo!!! 1y
emilyhaldi Love ❤️🏙 1y
Eggs Dollhouse is on my TBR!! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Eggs I love this author!! 1y
109 likes1 stack add10 comments
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theladygreer
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Two birds, one stone: my #fridayreads is THE DOLLHOUSE (which I am loving) by Fiona Davis, who I interviewed for today's #womenshistoryreads Q&Q&Q&A! Tune in for inspiring classic NYC real estate, my chance to time-travel, and a deeply intriguing reference to Cousin Matthew. Greermacallister.com/blog

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Pamwurtzler
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Pickpick

Loved this. I love books set in NYC and the story of these women was captivating.

Jess7 I just picked this one up recently! Nice review 1y
Pamwurtzler @Jess7 It was really good. I have this one too and am looking forward to reading it. 1y
50 likes2 comments