About The Girl From the Savoy
• Paperback: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 7, 2016)
“Once begun, I dare you to put it down.”—Kathleen Tessaro, New York Times bestselling author of Rare Objects
London, 1923: Welcome to The Savoy hotel, a glittering jewel in London’s social scene, where the lives of the rich, the famous, and the infamous intertwine.
Here, amid the cocktails and the jazz, two women with very different pasts try to forget the devastation of the Great War and forge a new life in a city where those who dare to dream can have it all.
Dolly Lane is The Savoy’s newest chambermaid, her prospects limited by a life in service. But her proximity to the dazzling hotel guests fuels her dreams—to take the London stage by storm, to wear couture gowns, to be applauded by gallery girls and admired by critics . . . to be a star, just like her idol, Loretta May.
The daughter of an earl, Loretta has rebelliously turned her back on the carefully ordered life expected of a woman at the top of society’s elite. She will love who she wants, and live as she likes. Outwardly, her star burns bright, but Loretta holds a dark secret. She alone knows that her star cannot burn forever.
When an unusual turn of events leads Dolly’s and Loretta’s lives to collide, they must both learn to let go of their pasts in order to hold on to what they most desire.
“As sweet as a love song, as energetic as a tap dance, and full of dazzling details.”—Jeanne Mackin, author of The Beautiful American
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Dorothy Lane, Dolly to her friends, has always dreamed of more for herself than to be a maid. However, as World War I approaches, her love, Teddy is sent off and things change drastically for them both. Teddy returns with shell shock and Dolly has endured much in his absence. Now, Dolly chases adventure in London where she finds employment as a maid to the stars at the Savoy. While at the Savoy, Dolly takes up an advertisement for a musician looking for a muse. Perry Clements is a struggling composer, his sister Loretta May is a starlet of the stage. Dolly agrees to inspire Perry while Loretta teaches her to stand out in a crowd and brings Dolly closer to the life she has dreamed about.
A tantalizing story about love, loss, recovery and ambition that spans World War I through the Jazz Age in London. Switching points of view between Dolly, Loretta and Teddy there is a very full view of the damaging effects of the war from every angle. Dolly's was the most intriguing for me as her secrets kept during the war unravel and she begins to finally realize her dreams. Dolly is a true dreamer and adventurer. I admired her resilience and ability to chase her fantasy life. Teddy's point of view was also crucial for me, even though it didn't quite fit in with the Dolly and Loretta's shared experiences. His struggle with shell shock and remembering what he could have had was very delicately done and drew me into his experience. Finally, what drew me into the book was the setting and time period, the glamour of the Savoy was brilliantly described and the mood of the time could be imagined through the descriptions of music, theatre, dance and dress.
Hazel Gaynor's 2014 debut novel The Girl Who Came Home—A Novel of the Titanic was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. A Memory of Violets is her second novel.
Hazel writes a popular guest blog 'Carry on Writing' for national Irish writing website writing.ie and contributes regular feature articles for the site, interviewing authors such as Philippa Gregory, Sebastian Faulks, Cheryl Strayed, Rachel Joyce and Jo Baker, among others.
Hazel was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers and was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. She appeared as a guest speaker at the Romantic Novelists' Association and Historical Novel Society annual conferences in 2014.
Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.
Find out more about Hazel at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.