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The Address Audiobook

The Address: A Novel

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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 Rating

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  •  
    A.Stewart 26/08/2017
    A.Stewart 26/08/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Tanya M. Spiegel
    Miami, Florida
    05/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic book!"

    Truly enjoyed the richness of this book. I found myself looking up the Dakota just to see the architectural design and lay out of the place. The authors description making it seem so unimaginable in its opulence. It really is a beautiful old building. The story is very good. But terribly sad too. A shame that Christopher never knew his mother or knew the truth behind his birth. I did so like that Jack agreed to the test in the end. I was horrified thinking of that beautiful old apartment turning into a glorified over the top flop house for the rich and over indulged. Narrative is very good and loved her voices. Made for an excellent days listen. Also, to note the horror of both the insane asylum and the prison. But in that time women where put away for even small infractions. Great details.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ellen Zelda
    Dallas, TX USA
    08/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kerianne E.
    21/09/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "I very much enjoyed this book because"

    it had a very ethereal feel to it as it moved between characters that were 100 years apart. Very fascinating story and very well told. It was fun to uncover the past with the characters, especially as the location is a real place and some characters were real people.

    The narrators both did an excellent job conveying not only their characters but the time periods they lived in and the cadences and tones that were been true to the times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    20/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must read!"

    I truly enjoyed this book! Fiona Davis does an amazing job of making you feel as if you were in the novel. The characters are amazing. I could not put the book down. I highly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • L. Randall
    Apple Valley, MN
    12/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So-so"

    I liked this book but I didn't love it. The narrators were great but the story fell flat. Overall I enjoyed this book but when it ended I didn't feel satisfied. There was so much potential with the story but it went no place social. I didn't feel connection to the characters, in fact they all frustrated me. The story left parts unfinished and there were no explanations for some parts of it. I would recommend only getting this book if you have a free credit, not worth the money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Primativa
    02/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpected turns"

    It took a while to really get into the story. Enjoyed the 2 different genetations and how the story wove them together. Pleasantly surprised by the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maureen Becker
    02/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    This is one of the most boring books ever. Couldn't even finish it as it was so predictable that I stopped listening. All around blah.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • JB
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    29/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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