The Girl from the Savoy

Morrow. Jun. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9780062403476. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062403483. F
Dolly Lane and her childhood sweetheart Teddy were tragically torn apart after he returned from World War I, suffering severe memory loss. Now working as a maid at London's grand Savoy Hotel and basking in her close proximity to celebrities, she dreams of becoming a star. Dolly also spends her free time at dance halls and theaters, one of many starstruck "gallery girls" seeking adventure. A chance meeting and response to a newspaper ad for a "muse" finally bring her into an elite circle of performers and producers, including her idol, acclaimed actress Loretta May. Alternating chapters share Dolly, Loretta, and Teddy's perspectives as all three fight private battles and keep secrets. Likable, hardworking characters advance the story quickly. The wide-ranging effects of the war lend a realistic atmosphere without diminishing the hopeful mood. Gaynor (A Memory of Violets) provides notes about the extent of her research, and these details make the 1920s come alive.
VERDICT Suggest to fans of Sarah Jio and readers of historical fiction who like interconnected stories and don't mind a few coincidental plot points. [See Prepub Alert, 12/7/15.]
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