Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …
Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life.
When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor—she must remain invisible and unimportant.
But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something.
Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?
Published: 8th September 2016
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Series or Stand-Alone: Stand Alone
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
What I liked about this book... This story is split into three character perspectives - Loretta, Teddy and Dolly. Dolly has started a new job in The Savoy as a chambermaid so at the beginning of the story we see her learning her hew trade as a chambermaid. She also has dreams, big dreams which she tries to make come true. Loretta is a famous actress on the stage but in this story we see more of her when she is not on the stage such as her weekly lunch dates with her brother etc. On a chance encounter, Loretta's brother bumps into Dolly and then again when she answers an ad of his for a muse for his painting, Dolly gets introduced to Loretta who tries to help her. You then have Teddy. Teddy is Dolly's long lost sweetheart from her past. They were so in love until he left for war. After that, he was never the same having suffered injuries meaning that he could not remember who she was. After that Dolly decided to move onwards and upwards to the Savoy. The three different perspectives in this book definitely added depth to the story and I especially liked how each of the characters progressed throughout it. The characters in this story were for sure the highlight for me.
What I didn't like about this book... The pace of this book was slower than what I had hoped for me. This is definitely one of those books that you need to just sit back, relax and enjoy at a reasonable pace. I had hoped for a few surprises along the way but this is not one of those stories. This is more of a 'slice of life as it happens' type of story and should be enjoyed for exactly that.
In summary... A really great story with great character development. The pace could have been faster with a few more twists and turns or even a few surprises along the way (but that is just my personal preference rather than a reflection on the story itself) but this story certainly made me want to pick up more books in this era (1920s) that's for sure!