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The Chelsea Girls: A Novel by Fiona Davis
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The Chelsea Girls: A Novel (2019)

by Fiona Davis

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I loved this book! Strong female friendships, history, intrigue, romance, conflicting loyalties – Davis covers it all. And if you have problem following the dual timelines, this book does not do that. While presented with the alternating perspectives of Hazel and Maxine, the superb character development makes all the characters very real to the reader.

Hazel and Maxine meet in 1945 while they are both on a USO tour and quickly become fast friends. When the war is over hazel and Maxine go their separate ways. But then in 1950 they reunite when Maxine, now a Hollywood starlet, moves to NYC and joins playwright Hazel at the Chelsea Hotel. Both seem destined for success until McCarthyism and accusations of being a Communist shake up the entertainment industry. Davis perfectly captures the sense of fear and intimidation that existed at that time.

I highly recommend this excellent book. This book was given to me by the publisher but all opinions are my own. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Jul 21, 2019 |
Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "The Chelsea Girls" by Fiona Davis, Dutton, July 2019

Kudos to Fiona Davis, Author of "The Chelsea Girls" for writing such intriguing, intense, captivating, riveting, enthralling, historical and entertaining novel. The Genres for this Novel are Historical Fiction and Fiction. The author writes about The Chelsea Hotel and its history, and the entertainment industry. In a good portion of the novel the McCarthy era, and witch hunt for Communists is mentioned. Fiona Davis vividly describes the architecture, landscape, and characters in her novel. The dramatic cast of characters are described as complex and complicated. There are betrayals and danger. Friendship is one of the themes in this novel, and the timeline is approximately 20 years.

Hazel Ripley first meets Maxine Mead in a USO tour during World War Two in Italy. The two work together to entertain the troops and then do a radio show. Up to this point, Hazel has been an understudy in the theater. Both seem to work well together.

The Chelsea Hotel has been historically known as the hub for creativity. Writers, musicians, actors, artists, and others have been known to stay there. New York City is where the Chelsea Hotel is located. After the war, Hazel goes to The Chelsea hotel hoping to be a playwright. Hazel does write a play, and Maxine returns to become one of the actors in the play. Unfortunately, the political times are not stable in the entertainment history. Senator Joseph McCarthy is looking at the industry for communists. There is a book that blacklists suspected people in this industry.

In this amazing story, there is espionage, love, betrayal, danger, and shattered dreams and hopes. I highly recommend this intense thought-provoking novel. ( )
  teachlz | Jul 6, 2019 |
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From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City's creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home-a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine's Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom. Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girlsdeftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.… (more)

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