The Address

A Novel
Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,654 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Dollhouse and The Masterpiece comes the compelling national best-selling novel about the thin lines between love and loss, success and ruin, passion and madness, all hidden behind the walls of the Dakota - New York City’s most famous residence.

When a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house the Dakota, leads to a job offer for Sara Smythe, her world is suddenly awash in possibility - no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America. The opportunity to be the female manager of the Dakota. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else...and is living in the Dakota with his wife and three young children.

One hundred years later, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities: Fresh out of rehab, the former interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Bailey's grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden, yet Bailey won't see a dime of the Camden family's substantial estate; instead, her “cousin” Melinda - Camden's biological great-granddaughter - will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda's vision. The renovation will take away all the character of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in...and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum - a madwoman named Sara Smythe.

A century apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages - for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the nightlife's free-flowing drinks and cocaine - and take refuge in the Upper West Side's gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich, and often as tragic, as the Dakota's can't hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers inside could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden - and the woman who killed him - on its head.

©2017 Fiona Davis (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A delicious tale of love, lies and madness.” (People Magazine)

The Address is compelling, historically minded fiction with unexpected - and entertaining - twists and turns...the novel delights...” (Ms. Magazine)

“Lively and detail rich - set against the backdrop of NYC’s infamous Dakota building - with a thread of mystery that makes it easy to enjoy, hard to put down.” (Family Circle)

What listeners say about The Address

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Should be a movie!

Absolutely riveting! I listen to audio books on my commute to and from work, and didn't want my drive to end, which is totally crazy because I drive almost 2 hours each way to work and home. This is by far one of the most capturing stories I've ever heard. The detail, the mystery, the suspense! I loved this book.

77 people found this helpful

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Don’t waste your time!

The story was filled with too many convenient factors. Not to mention events that are entirely farfetched. The same woman is both put into a mad house (though she’s perfectly sane) because she didn’t know what to say/didn’t say anything when they accused her of theft AND put into prison for murder she didn’t commit because she didn’t know what to say/didn’t say anything. I’m guessing ‘I’m completely innocent’ would be a good start. Not too hard. These kind of things drive me nuts in a book. Not to mention that this woman isn’t a flighty girl, she’s an extremely competent woman. That’s an important part of the story. A good description might be ‘very competent and intelligent woman gets put into an asylum and later into jail for separate issues of which she’s innocent’. She also was duped by a man, his wife, and a young girl she tried to help...and that’s just the historical storyline! The other one also offered up moments where heavy eye rolling was necessary. I mean who doesn’t want to give money to and be buddies with someone who treats you like you’re worthless, vows to take you down, and at her best takes you out to drink and do drugs days after you get out of rehab? Like I said be prepared to eye roll regularly! Formulaic at best.

The narrators were awful too! Esp the one for the present day storyline. Actually that’s not entirely true. The narrator could do female voices wonderfully well. However, her male voices were laughable and grating. It was honestly ridiculous. Both main males in the current storyline sounded like-ugh I don’t even know what-like gigolos. My son walked into the room while I was listening and laughed his head off at the male voice of Tony. So cheesy!

I suggest a big pass. It wasn’t awful but there’s too many good books out there to waste your time on this one.

50 people found this helpful

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Interesting and unexpected

This is an interesting story. It has its faults- I found it overly formulaic at times, but overall it was a listen worth the credit. It's basically a hand wringing daytime period drama, but in a good way.

14 people found this helpful

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Not your Count of Monte Cristo story

This book is really well written and has 2 main characters and two different time periods- and of course parallels. I did not read the book in one sitting, but loved to get back to it whenever I could. There are no twists, but there is a happy ending in the story. Character development is steady and nothing surprising jumps at you. It's a even story with like-able and despicable characters, and it's worth a listen, albeit, better to get it on sale. Narration was great and matched the characters. I would not read it again as I know the ending, but would recommend the book as a beach read or commuter book. If you liked my review, please vote for it.

47 people found this helpful

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  • JB
  • 08-29-17

NYC then and then

Would you consider the audio edition of The Address to be better than the print version?

Most likely

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sarah Smythe is smart, good, naive and I can relate to that.

Which character – as performed by Saskia Maarleveld and Brittany Pressley – was your favorite?

I enjoyed Sarah's voice - just the right English accent for listening because it was understandable (some English narrators are not), noble-like without being haughty, and had all the right nuances when speaking with staff, clients, and her lover.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

NYC THEN AND THEN ... The ADDRESS at the Dakota means something in the 1880s and the 1980s ... are there more similarities then differences?

Any additional comments?

ANYONE who enjoys hearing/reading about the inner workings of a city and its people will enjoy this book. Having the chapters about Blackwell Island brought a critical dimension to the tensions of living in the 1880s and so did Bailey's struggles of a more modern era. One of the reasons I wish more people (including my four children) would read historical fiction is because WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY. Yes, we have a long way to go but there are far more resources available then EVER and we should be grateful.

27 people found this helpful

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Excellent entertainment.

The story lines of this book, while not particularly original or creative, are interwoven to provide a well-paced, interesting tale. All of the characters are very well developed, which adds to the interest value. And finally, the detail about The Dakota - the amazing, historical New York City apartment building where John Lennon was killed - is a stunning addition to the texture of the book.

Nevertheless,the stories of the two main characters - Sara and Bailey - repeat familiar novel themes. Sara is highly reminiscent of Theodore Dreiser's famous Sister Carrie. And Bailey is rather average "woman who becomes a recovering addict because she wants to find her heritage (and get some wealth along the way)." Their connection - 100 years apart - is The Dakota.

All of the elements above combine to make the reading of the book steadily compelling. The performers are wonderful to make listening a pleasure.


39 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Wanted to Like It More

3.5 stars. This book sounded wonderful but the reality was a little less so. It offers two interconnected stories, 100 years apart, but both taking place at The Dakota. The first introduces Sara Smythe, a competent hotel manager at an upscale London hotel in 1884, who saves the life of a young girl and is rewarded for her courage when the girl’s father invites her to move to New York to work at the upcoming address of the future, The Dakota.

The second story takes place 100 years later, when Bailey, a young interior designer just out of rehab, is hired by her cousin to redesign the family apartment in The Dakota, which she is to inherit as the scion of Theodore Camden, the architect of the building and the man who invited Sarah to move from London to New York.

With the two main sets of characters in place, the stories wind around and through each other until, finally, at the end, we see how they are intertwined. In between, there are traumas, a murder, affairs, romances and breakups, a stint at an insane asylum and many other dramatic events.

They don’t always coalesce in a natural way and things (to me) were somewhat predictable.

The narrators are fine. Saskia Maarleveld, who is a seasoned narrator, did an excellent job with Sarah's story. Brittany Pressley was a little less successful with Bailey's; her reading made Bailey sound like such a spoiled brat and I don't think that's what the author intended for this character.

6 people found this helpful

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Wow! Great book!

Anyone that says this book is predictable did not follow through until the end! I will admit, the first few chapters were slow and, I thought I had it all figured out, too. Not so much! Once the story picked up, it really took off and, I could not put it down. Although I did figure out part of the story before the end, I didn’t figure out, or even see, the 2 main twists coming! Overall, a fabulous book with many twists and excellent narration. I loved it! It’s definitely credit worthy. I’m off to buy another book by Fiona Davis!

27 people found this helpful

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An hour was all I could stand

I gave this book a one-hour listen before I had to stop or just scream. The voice fry--- more of a croak, actually--- of the reader who reads Bailey's part is excruciating! I found myself focusing more on the annoying performance than on the story. The story might turn out to be ok, but not if the first hour is an indication. It seems to be a poor knock-off in Kate Morton's formulaic style. Sorry, Audible, but I'm returning this one.

38 people found this helpful

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Poor Character Development Hobbles Storyline

The story starts out with a promising conflict at the beginning. Unfortunately, the characters and plot devolve into a Victorian hyper-drama by mid-way in the book.

I actually like it when authors use pre-tech eras in which to place a story. No gizmos to move the plot with little effort or cogitation while Googling a quick answer to a plot's complication. So I had high hopes for a solid
historically fictionalized tale based on human conflict, well delineated characters and good old fashioned resolutions.

Instead, Ms. Davis seems to have decided to resort to Dickensian weepy-ness in some of the plot turns, one replete with an Evil Asylum Nurse who growls at the misfortunately accursed heroine just because she's well... an Evil Asylum Nurse. No other character development was used -- other than the old standby trope of: Institutionalization = The Mandatory Bad Nurse Ratchet Should Be On Premises...

It might be your cup of lukewarm tea but for me, it turned into "Oh Brother... did the author really just have the stereotypical Evil Institutional Nurse make her protagonist re-scrub the floor where she just smudged it with her Evil Nurse's muddy shoe??"

It was just too little bedrock in the characters for me to give hang about them, so I quit 1/2 way through.

As I've mentioned before, I used to finish EVERY book... giving them a chance to the end for redemption. But now, I have realized there are too many good books out there to waste my time with a bad one.

So I move on.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lunarcat
  • 10-19-17

Very enjoyable great story lines across a century.

This is the first book I've read by Fiona Davis and was pointed in this direction by my book club.
Not to give anything away but it is a story of young women looking for where they belong.
One looking in the past from the 1980's and the other trying to make her way in a world hostile to women in the late 1880's.
It's how in 100 years some things change but some remain the same.
I really enjoy historical novels but must admit my taste is usually restricted to English social history.
This has changed my view and I will definitely read her 1st book The Dollhouse.
I listened to this on Audible my 1st attempt at listening to a book,at first I found it difficult but once I got the right reading speed I got the d hang of it.
I can't say I'd be able to multitask while listening but I'm pleased I have given it a try.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A.Stewart
  • 08-26-17

Loved it!!

I was instantly transported back to the guilded days of the Dakota. Oh, how I wish I could have been a resident there. Then I was whisked forward to 1985 to meet the other players in the story. As someone who is completely obsessed with my own family history I completely get why Bailey was so determined to discover the truth of her own family story. A must read!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • NickiMags
  • 01-26-18

Dual Timeline Mystery

Would you listen to The Address again? Why?

Yes I would probably listen to it again.

What did you like best about this story?

I must admit that I preferred loved the 1980s storyline far more than the 1880s one, even though I was intrigued by the lives of the different people living and working at The Dakota during this earlier time period. I found the 1880s story dragged a bit for me in the first part of the book and I found I couldn’t wait to get back to the 1980s storyline.

What about Saskia Maarleveld and Brittany Pressley ’s performance did you like?

The narration was brilliant for both time periods. The reserved tones of Saskia Maarlveld for the 1880s were perfect as she brought the women and men of that time period to life. Brittany Presley’s more upbeat voice similarly worked really well for the 1980s. I loved her spoilt voice for Bailey’s “cousin” Melinda, perfectly bringing to life the extravagance and exuberance of the yuppies of the decade.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

At times I was shocked and repulsed by the 1880s storyline and the 1980s part made me laugh at Melinda's behaviour.

Any additional comments?

The mystery part of the story was really good, keeping me listening to find out what exactly had happened to Sara all those years ago. There were some good twists and turns that really did keep me guessing. I definitely recommend this if you enjoy dual time line stories.