In 1884, the architect Theodore Camden built the first hotel of its kind where the residents would live year round and have hotel amenities. The apartments are inherited by each succeeding generation. The hotel is called the Dakota, or the Address, and it’s in New York City.
I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and Fiona Davis is the author of this historical fiction book The Address.
The story alternates between the lives of Sara Smythe, who in 1884 emigrates from England to manage the new apartment building and Bailey, an interior designer, who in 1984 is invited by her cousin to help re-design one of the apartments.
Sara becomes architect Camden’s lover and eventually, his murderer. Convicted of the murder, Sara is committed to an insane asylum where she meets Nellie Bly who, through media pressure, helps to get Sara released.
Bailey is fresh out of rehab and without a job when she is approached by her cousin to re-design the Dakota apartment. At the back of a storage room, in an old trunk, Bailey discovers a valuable knife sheath hidden in a tube of architect plans - both of which are covered in dried blood.
This suspenseful novel provides a fascinating look at the history of New York in the late 1880’s and gives the reader a glimpse into the asylums of the day.
The author Fiona Davis began her career in New York City as an actress and after ten years changed careers to an editor and writer.
If you’re interested in learning some history of New York City and the Dakota, a hotel in which John Lennon once lived, then you must read The Address by Fiona Davis.