The Girl from The Savoy: A Novel

The Girl from The Savoy: A Novel

by Hazel Gaynor


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062403476
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 176,302
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, The Girl from the Savoy, was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she has published The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris. Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of 'Ten Big Breakout Authors' for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

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The Girl from The Savoy: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully-written book. If you enjoy historical novels about characters who seem achingly real doing their best to survive and thrive in the present despite their internal scars from the past, you will find yourself captivated and transported. Highly recommended.
gaele More than 1 year ago
The Savoy is THE place to be in London: in the years surrounding World War I it is the center of the sparkling good life experienced by the upper-crust. And, when you add in the social changes as Britain (and the world) resets and readjusts in the aftermath of the war, the dissolution of the great houses, women’s rights, and the underlying social unrest as the lower classes are starting to see opportunities. Told in the perspective of three people, Teddy a young man off to war, Dolly – a young girl with dreams of the stage, desperate to find her own upward mobility. Lastly is Loretta, a well-known actress, daughter of an Earl, and facing the end of her career. Amidst all of the social change, Dolly and Loretta befriend one another after an advertisement for a muse draws them together. What emerges is the story of the two women, Loretta introducing and often manipulating situations for Dolly, showing her the finer things in life while still presiding over the gate, and Dolly’s early fascination with the life she aspires to, while still finding moments in which her own simpler and more constrictive background will influence her choices. The Savoy is simply the backdrop for the aspirations and often ostentatious displays of wealth and the power that comes from the having or not. What shines is the connection and similarities between Dolly and Loretta, if it did come about as a bit of convenient contrivance. That niggle falls away in the development of their characters, with Dolly far outshining in growth and descriptive moments, as she has the most to gain from their acquaintance. The similarities between these two, on the cusp of great change in society as they navigate choices and directions for their lives is wonderfully drawn and engaging. Now, Teddy’s role is small and a bit distracting, best served as a touchpoint for Dolly as she was, while offering up intriguing moments to add conflict for her choices, and a bit of sentimentality. A wonderful read that is ultimately about dreams, hopes and opportunities in times of great changes. I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Well written and easy to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a book this good in a long while.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonder read! Visited family over the weekend and this book was so good it distracted me!
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
EXCEPTIONAL! THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY is a beautiful story of love, hope, courage, determination and loss. Hazel Gaynor is a truly gifted writer. With simple, easy symphonic prose, it keeps you enthralled throughout the story, wanting more and more till the very end. I adore her writing style. Add this novel to THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and A MEMORY OF VIOLETS, and an extraordinary literary career has commenced in Hazel Gaynor.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
I absolutely fell in love with The Girl from The Savoy. This story takes place in the early 1920s, but it does reach to 1974 with the epilogue as it follows the lives of these three beautiful characters. Readers get three points of view: Dolly, Loretta May and Teddy. We get to see their hopes, dreams and heart-rending loss of their lives during this time—the time of World War I or The Great War—of boys who before this war were fun-loving with dreams of marriage to girls they loved, only to come back as broken men with no dreams…if they came back at all. It was the women that had to hold on to the dreams without the men they loved. It's 1916 and Dolly's heart is breaking as she says her goodbye to Teddy when he’s called to war. Teddy promises to come back to her, along with promises of marriage, of children, of a life with him… Teddy’s the boy who’s been Dolly's best friend and the love of her life since she was eight years old. In 1923, after the war, and like any time after a war, it's time to start a new beginning. And the theater, ragtime, jazz, and all the glamour of a life as an actress and the gallery girls is what Dolly has dreamed about. When she gets a maid position at the Savoy hotel, Dolly sees her chance at her dreams to finally becoming real. Loretta is an actress of the stage. She’s also a disgrace to her father who is an earl. Loretta rebelled against her parents’ way of life and the life she was supposed to live as a respectable daughter of an earl. We see both Dolly and Loretta’s struggles. One who is striving to become an actress and the other whose days on the stage as an actress coming to an end and the brokenness for the man they loved that war has cause. And the struggling musical composer Perry, that becomes the thread that entwines their lives together. The Girl From The Savoy is an amazing story, and I know I didn't give you insight about Teddy, but I feel like it's more meaningful for you to discover his part in this beautiful story for yourself. The ending of this novel left me a blubbering mess of tears. These two amazing ladies’ story was not what I expected by the end, with the man they love. But it's an ending that both broke my heart and made me swoon for Dolly and Loretta. You don't want to miss out on the emotional depth of Dolly and Loretta's story. I highly recommend as a must, must read.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Two young women, both with big dreams and losses incurred during the war, come together. The premise intrigues me. Given the similarities in their dreams and the difference in their class, there was potential for the story to make parallels between Dolly and Loretta's lives to show how love, war, and ambition intersect with class biases and the culture of the time to influence the young women's lives. However, the author takes far too long to set up the context. It isn't until close to midway in the novel that Dolly and Loretta's paths cross or the plot starts going anywhere. Despite Dolly's big dreams, we don't see them take direction until she meets Loretta. For a novel that does a better job of portraying the culture of the society and the relationships of its individuals, I recommend The Great Gatsy. (Albeit, it examines a different social class across the pond from The Girl in the Savoy.) It seems as if the author wasn't sure where she was headed with the novel for much of it. Many of the initial scenes shown do not serve to build the story and could easily have been omitted. On the other end, there were characters and plotlines that were not developed enough. For example, Mr. Snyder's character represents the good darker sides of stardom, and he could have served as a good foil to Perry's character. However, Mr. Snyder was only given two key moments, neither of which led anywhere to reinforce the character traits he exemplifies. Again, a good opportunity to build the world is wasted. Generally, I'm not fond of multiple perspectives because they're difficult to do well. Every perspective that is added takes away space that could have been used to further develop the main perspective. The Smell of Other People's Houses is another recently published work that does a fantastic job intertwining the stories of the protagonists (read my review here). The Girl from the Savoy does not handle this as well. For example, many of the revelations about Dolly and Loretta end up being revealed to the other later in the novel. Time spent with Dolly and Loretta's perspectives could have focused on their internal conflicts and the emotional damage dealt to them while hinting at what happened. (Just Listen by Sarah Dessen is a fantastic example of a work that successfully hints at a past trauma while building to the big reveal.) As for Teddy's perspective, I honestly didn't see a point to it except to show us what Dolly and Teddy had. What we learn with could have just as easily been shown through Dolly's perspective while further building her character and keeping the story focused on the two starring women. Overall, The Girl from the Savoy is a decent enough read if you're looking for a historical fiction novel to pass away the time. It is unique from novels like The Great Gatsby in that it is set in London post World War I, though the setting / culture isn't developed enough for me to be entirely conscious of the differences in culture. However, it isn't one that I would go out of my way to recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book