Saturday, December 7, 2019

Book Review - The Chelsea Girls

The Chelsea GirlsThe Chelsea Girls by Fiona  Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Chelsea Hotel, NYC is the location for Fiona Davis' newest historical fiction novel, The Chelsea Girls. The Chelsea was the place to be for actors, artists, writers, etc in New York City.

Hazel Ripley joins a USO tour already in progress and meets Maxine Mead who is the head actress for the tour and Maxine takes Hazel under her wing. When the war is over, Hazel returns to NYC and ends up moving into the Chelsea after hearing about it from Maxine overseas. Hazel writes a play based on their time in the USO tour and, with the connections from the Chelsea, she finds a producer and sets out to direct the play on Broadway. When Maxine runs from an abusive lover, she returns to the Chelsea and is made the lead in Hazel's play.

Of course, no novel would be complete without some angst and the time period was during the hearings led by Senator Joseph McCarthy to reveal all the Communists in the US. And the residents of the Chelsea and the various artists in NYC were not immune to the accusations.

I was a little shocked by the big reveal in the novel, but things made sense after the reveal. As usual, after reading a historical fiction novel by Davis, I am intrigued by the way the McCarthy trials affected people and their lives in the aftermath, but for some reason I am not as drawn to the story to actually look things up like I have in the past with The Address or The Masterpiece. I am definitely looking forward to the next work by Fiona Davis!

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1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I haven’t read her before, but sounds good! I will have to add this one to my list.