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Publisher's Summary

Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse, returns with a compelling 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.

After a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she'd make of herself. But 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, her world is suddenly awash in possibility - no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America, where a person can rise above one's station. The opportunity to be the female manager of The Dakota, which promises to be the greatest apartment house in the world. 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.

In 1985, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities. Fresh out of rehab, the former party girl and interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Two generations ago, Bailey's grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden. But the absence of a genetic connection means 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 and history of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in...and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a madwoman named Sara Smythe, a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum on Blackwell's Island.

One hundred years 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 free-flowing drinks and cocaine in the nightclubs of New York City - and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side's gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich - and often tragic - as The Dakota's can't hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden - and the woman who killed him - on its head.

With rich historical detail, nuanced characters, and gorgeous prose, Fiona Davis once again delivers a compulsively listenable novel that peels back the layers of not only a famed institution but the lives - and lies - of the beating hearts within.

©2017 Fiona Davis (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

40 of 40 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.


30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie
  • Arlington, TN, United States
  • 03-17-18

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.

15 of 16 people found this review 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!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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I love anything to do with The Dakota Apt building

And this story doesn't disappoint. The mystery was great, with a twist at the end that I wasn't expecting! I enjoyed going back in time when apartment living was brand new in New York City, and to think it was considered lowly and unspectacular is almost unbelievable! And Baileys struggle with alcoholism was real and pretty point on true. Makes me want to read The Dollhouse now. Good writing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

The Address

Delightful, historical, informative.....thanks.
The characters were so easy to identify with. The two approaches to history helped to adjust to the evolving time frames.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So enjoyable!

Fantastic spending time in the 1880s AND the 1980s! Suspenseful plot with realistic characters and marvellous performances by Saskia Maarleveld and Brittany Pressley.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.